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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,847
Registered: ‎03-28-2015

Cellulitis from a bug bite....

[ Edited ]

I got bit by something while I was weeding the garden. It was itchy and I must have scratched it without knowing and now it has turned into cellulitis.

 

I never had cellulitis before, so I thought I was having a reaction to the bug bite and went to the ER, where they gave me the diagnosis. They put me on antibiotics and told me to come back if it got worse.

 

Woke up the next morning and my redness that was only around my ankle, was now down to my toes and halfway up my calf....so off to the ER I went.

 

They gave me what the dr called a "booster dose of antibiotic" and told me that should help and sent me home. Dr said cellulitis usually gets worse before it gets better.

 

It is now 2 days after my ER visit and it HAS NOT got any worse, but only sllighty better.I have been taking my meds and elevating my leg most of the day.

 

I am calling my Family DR after the Holiday, but I was wondering ....How long does it take to clear up?

Honored Contributor
Posts: 11,709
Registered: ‎03-13-2010

Re: Cellulitis from a bug bite....

@Nataliesgramma 

 

Last July I got bitten by something which they believe was a spider.  I tend to get reactions to any bite.  It was on my lower leg. This thing got huge --- big and red and very sore and itched like you wouldn't believe.  Kept getting worse and worse.  I put everything on it you can imagine.  I was not sleeping at all.  I developed a huge bubble like thing on it - a blister type thing --- probably bigger than a silver dollar!  So, off I went to the ER.  They had never seen anything like it.  By then the redness was spreading way up and down my leg.  They said it had turned into cellulitis.  I had never scratched it unless I had done it in my sleep.  I was on 2 different courses of antibiotics and I still have a scar on my leg from it a year later.  It took a couple months for mine to get a lot better.  It's good you got meds because this stuff can be very dangerous.  Good luck and I hope you heal quickly!!!

"A day without sunshine is like, you know, night." - Steve Martin
Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,765
Registered: ‎06-03-2010

Re: Cellulitis from a bug bite....

@Nataliesgramma 

 

Hope you are better soon.  Although I have never had cellulitis, here is what I found...

 

Cellulitis should go away within 7 to 10 days after you start taking antibiotics. You might need longer treatment if your infection is severe due to a chronic condition or a weakened immune system.



......You look like I need a drink.....
Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,870
Registered: ‎03-16-2010

Re: Cellulitis from a bug bite....

The reaction might be an acute reaction to venom requiring steroid.

 

I moved from a dry climate to a humid one. Within a 2-3 yr period I went to walk in clinic for bug bites becoming inflammed swollen traveling up my ankle. I had 4 PA's and 2 MD's diagnose the area as cellulitis. Scared the tar out of me! I had never had any previous happenings.

 

The 6th episode I make my own appointment with an immulogist. I had all my pictures and showed him my new bite. I told him my previous diagnosis and he said "Well they are all wrong" This is acute reaction to venom probably fire ants. When I looked puzzled he said this is what I do all day. He Rxed oral steroid for 3-5 days.

Topical won't do it. 

 

Just my experience...Get better soon.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 19,228
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Cellulitis from a bug bite....

Hope you're on the mend.

 

I only got this once and it was horrific!   I didn't know it had happened until the next morning my hand was swollen up and purple.  The pain was beyond.

 

Went to work, as that's how I would roll, and afterward went to the doc office (I actually had a doc back then).  He gave me some shots and said that if it is not getting better by the morning to go directly to the hospital.

 

It didn't and I went to the hsp and was put on IV and I forgot what else, as it was so long ago, but was in hsp for several days with my arm up in some sort of sling thing while I was on IV and meds.

 

After I got out I had to stay home for a couple more weeks with my arm up in that same manner.

 

The weird thing was that I remember that proverbial 'line going to the heart' thing.   By the day after it happened I could literally see this line going up my left arm.   It was hideously painful and what was a drag was that, being left handed (everything seems to happen to my left arm/hand!) I was just a mess.  

 

I never knew about cellulitis until this happened.  You learn a lot when you experience something, eh?    I don't want to ever go through that again, so my heart goes out to you.   The doc told me that had I not come in I would have probably lost my hand, maybe my arm, and/or maybe my life!  Yikes!

Honored Contributor
Posts: 13,734
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Cellulitis from a bug bite....

@Nataliesgramma 

 

 Sorry to hear this. Cellulitis is very dangerous if not treated right away. I spent 8 days in the hospital with several different IV drip antibiotics.

 

Mine was caused when 1 our our cats bit me. I have trapped and grabbed probably over 50 cats since we moved here. Mostly younger ones that were born on our property. Needless to say, I have been bitten and deeply scratched many times. Never had a problem other than cleaning and covering my wounds.

 

Our vet told me that certain animals have this in their saliva, thus the importance of getting treated right away. I waited overnight because I just chalked it off as just another cat bite, and from our cat I know had all his shots.

 

By the next day my left hand was swelled up so bad I couldn't even open and close it. Got in to see my nephew-in-law, who practices in the same office as my PCP, who had no open appointments. He sent me right to the ER where they immediately put me on the fluid and antibiotic IV Drip.

 

Mine took months to heal. I could not use me left hand for much of anything, and it also depleted many of the necessary blood properties, thus lowering my Hemoglobin, almost back to my Anemic levels.

 

If this even appears to be getting worse, go to the ER immediately.

 

 

hckynut 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 19,228
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Cellulitis from a bug bite....


@hckynut wrote:

@Nataliesgramma 

 

 Sorry to hear this. Cellulitis is very dangerous if not treated right away. I spent 8 days in the hospital with several different IV drip antibiotics.

 

Mine was caused when 1 our our cats bit me. I have trapped and grabbed probably over 50 cats since we moved here. Mostly younger ones that were born on our property. Needless to say, I have been bitten and deeply scratched many times. Never had a problem other than cleaning and covering my wounds.

 

Our vet told me that certain animals have this in their saliva, thus the importance of getting treated right away. I waited overnight because I just chalked it off as just another cat bite, and from our cat I know had all his shots.

 

By the next day my left hand was swelled up so bad I couldn't even open and close it. Got in to see my nephew-in-law, who practices in the same office as my PCP, who had no open appointments. He sent me right to the ER where they immediately put me on the fluid and antibiotic IV Drip.

 

Mine took months to heal. I could not use me left hand for much of anything, and it also depleted many of the necessary blood properties, thus lowering my Hemoglobin, almost back to my Anemic levels.

 

If this even appears to be getting worse, go to the ER immediately.

 

 

hckynut 


 

Wow, John, it sounds like we had almost the same extreme experience!

 

Mine wasn't a bite but what had happened with mine was that I was playing with the dog in an area that was a dirt surface.  Somehow my left hand got ground into the dirt and I had these cuts on the large joint of three of the fingers.

 

I went inside and cleaned up my hand, did the H2O2, etc, and thought I had it cleaned out well.    I was wrong, but didn't know it until, like you, I got up the next day with a hideously swollen and painful hand.

 

One thing I wondered, and asked the doc, was if getting that meant that I would be more likely to get it in the future.  He assured me that I wouldn't but if I ever have cuts into joints like that I should go to a doc to make sure it's FULLY cleaned out.   

Honored Contributor
Posts: 12,640
Registered: ‎07-09-2011

Re: Cellulitis from a bug bite....

@Nataliesgramma 

 

I hope you do check in with your PCP.  Glad it is has not gotten any worse.

 

Cellulitis is slower to heal on the extremities, due to lessened blood flow.  Nothing to mess around with.

 

Take Care.

"Animals are not my whole world, but they have made my world whole" ~ Roger Caras
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,847
Registered: ‎03-28-2015

Re: Cellulitis from a bug bite....

Thanks everyone for all the replies......It is always good to hear others experiences....

Super Contributor
Posts: 386
Registered: ‎04-24-2011

Re: Cellulitis from a bug bite....

Many years ago I got bitten on my hand by my own cat.  I didn't think much of it, but a few days later I just happened to be at the doctor's office for something else, and I asked, so, by the way, what is this redness going up my arm to my elbow.  The doctor immediately said cellulitis.  I was put on pill antibiotics and it did clear up.

 

About 12 years ago, I was on my deck and picked something up and got bitten by some type of insect (didn't see what).  It was very painful.  Within the hour, I was at the ER where the PA prescribed erythromycin.  Days went by and it wasn't getting better.  Six days later, I couldn't close my fingers to make a fist.  Back to the ER where they said it was cellulitis and immediately admitted me and put me on IV Cipro and Clindamycin.  I was in the hospital for 3 days.  Upon release I was on the pill form of those two antibiotics for another week.

 

I have read that if you've had cellulitis, you have a higher risk of getting it again.

 

Cellulitis is serious so definitely check with your PCP or go to the ER.  Good luck and hope it clears up soon.