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How Should I Treat a Leg Infection?

If your leg appears to be infected you will want to do something about it. Ignoring the problem can be a huge mistake because even a minor infection can become serious if left untreated. The type of treatment required will always depend on the exact nature of the infection.  It will also depend on whether it is the skin, lymph nodes, or bone that is infected.

Cellulites

Cellulites is the most common type of leg infection. This most often appears in the lower leg, but it can be found elsewhere as well. In a lot of instances this infection will have been caused by bacteria of the streptococcus variety. The cells just below the skin are the ones that tend to get infected and this will be noticeable as pain, inflammation, and hotness. Cellulites will most often occur as a result of a simple cut. This break in the skin does not need to be large for bacteria to get below the surface. Once these germs are there the body launches the inflammatory response to combat them and it is this that causes the symptoms. As well as cellulites infecting the skin it may also infect the lymph nodes as well.

The usual way to treat cellulites is to take antibiotics. This will of course mean a trip to the doctor’s surgery in order to get the medication prescribed. In most instances the inflammation should subside after about a week. Oral antibiotics will usually be enough to deal with the problem but if this doesn’t work it may be necessary to have intravenous antibiotics – this will probably involve a stay in hospital. Doctors will be able to prescribe some other medications to help deal with any discomfort caused by the cellulites.

Osteomyelitis

Osteomyelitis is another condition that is caused by a bacterial infection. This can be far more serious than cellulites because in this instance the bone is infected. The treatment for this condition will almost always involve a stay in hospital. Before any treatment can commence it may be necessary to take a sample of the bone tissue to find out what type of bacteria is responsible for the symptoms. Once the type of bacteria is established it will then be a case of providing the most suitable intravenous antibiotics. If a lot of pus builds up inside the leg it may be necessary for this to be drained.

MRSA

MRSA infections are on the rise and this is bad news for all of us. This type of infection is notoriously hard to treat because it is resistant to a lot of antibiotics. A simple MRSA infection can develop into something a lot more serious if it is not dealt with. An infection in the skin can develop to infect the bone and blood stream. The usual way to treat this infection is to provide intravenous antibiotics such as Vancomycin – worryingly there is now some bacteria that has grown resistant to this antibiotic as well.

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What is Colitis?

Colitis refers to a large number of different conditions that lead to inflammation within the lining of the bowel; usually the large intestine. This inflammation can lead to a lot of unpleasant symptoms that can be disruptive to a person’s routine. The fact that there are different types of colitis means that there are different ways to deal with the problem. It is important to identify the cause to ensure that the correct course of action is then taken.

The Symptoms of Colitis

There are a number of different symptoms associated with colitis and the most common of these include:

  • Diarrhea or frequently having a loose bowel motion
  • Cramping in the abdominal region
  • Weight loss
  • Inability to sleep at night
  • Loss of control over bowel movements – incontinence
  • Loss of appetite
  • A sensation of bloating
  • Bleeding from the rectal area

All of these symptoms don’t necessarily indicate that a person has colitis as they can also indicate other conditions as well – some of these are potentially very serious. It is always important to seek medical advice when we begin to experience these types of symptoms.

The Causes of Colitis

As mentioned above there are many possible causes of colitis and these include:

  • Colitis may be due to an infection. If this is a bacterial infection then it may be possible to treat it with antibiotics. If the colitis is due to a viral infection then this can be tougher to deal with.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome is associated with frequent bouts of colitis. There are many people who have this condition but are unaware of it because it hasn’t been diagnosed. If you suffer from colitis regularly then you need to be checked for irritable bowel syndrome as this could be one of the causes.
  • Intestinal diseases such as Crohn’s Disease means that those with the condition will be more prone to developing colitis.
  • Some drugs can create colitis type symptoms as unwanted side effects

How to Deal with Colitis

In most instances colitis will be caused by something we have eaten; salmonella is a usual culprit. If you are experiencing the symptoms of colitis for more than 48 hours then you should seek medical assistance; especially if you don’t have an underlying disease that you suspect is causing the problem. If you have a bacterial infection then it will be important to be put on the right type of antibiotic. If it is due to some other cause then this needs to be investigated; sometimes appendicitis can be mistook for something less sinister. Some types of food poisoning can be dangerous and will require medical assistance.

The best way to deal with colitis is to avoid getting it in the first place. This will not be always possible but ensuring that we take precautions with food preparation and cooking will reduce our risk. It is also important that we learn proper sanitary routines such as properly washing our hands after we have been to the toilet.