Cancer Truth Note: #71
If you have lymphedema a bug bite can cause a serious skin infection. If left untreated these infections may require hospitalization.
Yesterday I shared about the importance of skin care post cancer treatment. Just like a cut or scratch, a bug bite can turn into cellulitis quite quickly and covering up may make it worse.
I was hanging out in nature on a Saturday. I was wearing my compression sleeve and sunscreen. Sunscreen is also important; you do not want to get burned on your affected arm. Sun burns can worsen lymphedema, I digress. I got a mosquito bite on my arm, through my sleeve. By Sunday the red itchy spot was bigger and by Monday I suspected it was going the way of a skin infection.
Yes. It can happen that fast.
I called and got a Friday appointment with the Nurse Practitioner in my doctors office. By Tuesday, I was only wearing my sleeve when actively exercising and letting it be open to air the rest of the time. On Friday when I saw the NP the spot was larger, somewhat irregularly shaped around 2ish inches in size, it was also red and warm to the touch. She agreed, I had cellulitis or a skin infection. She prescribed 2 weeks of antibiotics. Two weeks later it was better, but not gone. Two weeks more. By the end of the month the infection was completely gone from my arm.
Knowing what cellulitis looks like and how it progresses enabled me to be treated quickly, yet it still took time to get the infection completely under control. Had I not gotten that intervention, cellulitis can require hospitalization and IV antibiotics. If it gets really crazy it can turn to sepsis, which can be fatal. It is better to get checked early than to wait. ALWAYS.
Have questions about Lymphedema? Drop them in the comments. I have answers and if I don’t know I will find them for you.
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