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- Redness or red streaks on the skin
- Warmth at the site of the infection
- Fever or chills
- Fluids or pus leaking from the affected area
- Swollen glands
- Blood or fluid culture
- Skin biopsy and cultures
- Antibiotics to treat infection
- Over-the-counter medications to treat swelling and reduce pain
- Keep your skin clean.
- Apply lotion to dry skin.
- Take steps to avoid injury to the skin:
- Wear protective gear in sports.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts when hiking.
- Wear sandals when at the beach, rather than going barefoot.
- Be careful around animals. Treat pets with respect to avoid bites.
- Do not swim in natural waters if you have cuts or sores.
- If a small cut, bite, or other injury occurs:
- Clean cuts or scrapes with soap and water.
- Apply antibiotic ointment.
- Cover with a bandage or dressing.
- Do not scratch wounds.
- Call your doctor right away if the area becomes red or swollen.
- Seek prompt medical care for larger wounds or bites.
- If your legs tend to swell, elevate them several times a day.
- Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review BoardMichael Woods, MD, FAAP
- Review Date: 03/2017
- Update Date: 02/12/2014