Lip cellulitis is an infection of the skin and the soft tissue underneath the lips. It is a bacterial infection and spreads very fast, therefore if left untreated can prove to be very fatal. Cellulitis is very painful and may cause swelling, redness, and warmth in the infected area.
Causes and Risk Factors of Lip Cellulitis
Lip cellulitis can occur due to the entry of bacteria through any opening and crack in the skin. The bacteria which lead to cellulitis are streptococcus and staphylococcus bacteria. Apart from the cuts and cracks which make the entry of bacterial infection easy, there are factors which increase the risk of getting lip cellulitis,
- Trauma to skin
- Circulatory problems
- Liver diseases
- A history of cellulitis
- Cellulitis of mouth which spreads to lips and
- A weak immune system
Any long-term skin condition, infection or tear on the skin, infection after surgery, or any foreign object in the skin can be an easy cause of cellulitis.
Symptoms of Lip Cellulitis
Lip cellulitis presents the following symptoms,
- Redness and inflammation of the affected area of the lip
- Swelling of the skin
- A rash that is growing quickly
- Pain and tenderness of the affected area
- The infected area is warm to touch
- Leakage of yellow, clear liquid or pus
- The skin of lip may feel tight, hard or pressured
Some other symptoms which seek emergency care are,
- High fever or chills
- Increased pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Enlarging or hardening of the affected area
- Numbness of the area
Drowsiness, lethargy, blistering and red streaks can signal that the infection is spreading and you need to consult a doctor immediately.
How Long Does Lip Cellulitis Last?
The cellulitis is not a self-limiting disease, so it does not resolve on its own. Therefore you need to take an antibiotic treatment to stop the spread. The symptoms of lip cellulitis are likely to last for three to ten days after beginning the antibiotics.
Diagnosis of Lip Cellulitis
A doctor can diagnose if the skin condition is cellulitis just by looking at it. He might do an examination to confirm the symptoms such as warmth and swelling of the affected area.
Depending on the severity of symptoms of lip cellulitis, he might further advise for a blood test or a culture, to look for the spread of the infection to the blood.
Treatment of Lip Cellulitis
The health practitioner prescribes the oral antibiotics for 10-21 days. The length of antibiotic consumption depends on the severity of the symptoms of lip cellulitis. Always keep a check on the symptoms while taking the medications and be sure to complete the course even if the symptoms of lip cellulitis resolve in 7-10 days.
The patient might have to be hospitalized to get the intravenous antibiotics if the symptoms of lip cellulitis are not improving, the patient is having a high blood pressure, and the chances of spread are being noticed. Even patients with a weak immune system and the pre-existing medical condition are advised hospitalization to be kept under observation.
Natural Remedies for Lip Cellulitis
A patient needs to take the antibiotics for the treatment of lip cellulitis but there are few natural remedies which can help prevent the spread.
Coconut Oil: The excellent antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties of coconut oil make it an excellent natural remedy not only help in treating cellulitis but also prevent its recurrence. Application of this oil 2-3 times in a day on lips can help keep them moisturized and free from infection.
Hot and Cold Compress: Hot and cold compress can provide a relief from the symptoms of cellulitis. They help in reducing pain and inflammation.
Turmeric: Turmeric is known for its medicinal and healing properties. The curcumin present in it makes it a good anti-inflammatory product. It is one of the best home and natural remedy for lip cellulitis. You can mix it with honey and tea tree oil and apply to the affected area.
Yogurt: Yogurt is a natural probiotic, it contains the good bacteria which helps the body to fight an infection or inflammation naturally. You can consume it or can even apply it to the area of cellulitis.
Garlic: Garlic also possesses antimicrobial properties which help prevent the infection from spreading. A constituent known as allicin gives garlic this property. Its anti-inflammatory property reduces swelling and pain associated with cellulitis, making it a useful natural remedy.
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