Cellulitis is a type of non-contagious bacterial skin infection which usually occurs on the lower legs but also sometimes appears in other areas of the body like the arms and neck. The condition causes painful red swelling that often feels hot when touched.
Pain is one of the first warning signs of the condition. In time, the tender, red area can become larger and the sufferer may experience fever or chills. Left untreated it is possible for the infection to spread to other areas of the body such as the blood and the lymph nodes allowing the possibility of far more serious complications.
Cellulitis is a relatively common complaint typically caused by staphylococcus and streptococcus strains of bacteria although other bacterial strains can be responsible. The bacteria often enters the body through areas of broken skin like cuts, ulcers and surgical wounds while those suffering from athlete’s foot or dermatitis are also at risk. Inflammatory skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis can also lead to cellulitis.
Making certain that cellulitis is treated quickly is important to the success of the treatment as it can be a stubborn condition to overcome. The infection is usually treated with antibiotic medication either orally or intravenously when the body fails to respond.
Many people do not respond to antibiotics and they can cause numerous unwanted side effects, which mean that there is a growing interest in natural, safe home remedies. The treatments discussed below are among the most effective home remedies for cellulitis. If you are interested in finding out more about alternative and supportive remedies, read on.
1. Virgin Coconut oil
Virgin coconut oil is packed with vitamins and fatty acids that are a wonderful tonic for the skin. Coconut oil is used to effectively treat a variety of skin complaints including cellulitis because of its ability to fight stubborn bacterial infections.
- Apply the oil directly to the affected area.
- Let it sit for several hours before washing it off.
- Repeat the process several times a day.
Turmeric is an excellent home treatment for the skin and can even deal with bacterial infections like cellulitis. Its potency owes much to its powerful antimicrobial and antibiotic qualities as well as the anti-inflammatories properties contained in the curcumin.
- Add a teaspoon of turmeric to a mug of water and boil it.
- Add honey to taste.
- Drink the mixture twice daily for as long as necessary.
Alternatively, you can use turmeric in a paste and apply it to the skin:
- Add a teaspoon of turmeric powder to a tablespoon of good quality honey and 3 drops of tea tree essential oil and mix well.
- Apply the paste to the affected areas and let it sit for around 20 minutes.
- Repeat the process daily until your symptoms have cleared.
3. Tea tree essential oil
Many essential oils have all the properties necessary to take care of skin infections but tea tree oil is considered to be the most effective essential oil to fight cellulitis. It has very potent antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties that can treat the condition naturally and safely.
- Moisten a cotton ball with clean water and add a drop or 2 of tea tree oil.
- Rub the cotton ball onto the affected areas and allow it to work on the skin for several hours.
- Repeat the process twice daily for as long as necessary.
4. Oregano essential oil
Like tea tree oil, the oil of oregano is used effectively to treat cellulitis because of its excellent antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory agents.
- Dilute 10 drops of oregano oil into 2 tablespoons of base oil like coconut, jojoba or olive oil.
- Apply it to the affected areas and allow it to work for several hours before washing it off.
- Repeat the process several times daily
5. Fenugreek seeds
The flavonoids possessed by fenugreek seeds promote skin health and specifically help relieve inflammation and save off the infection caused by cellulitis.
- Soak 2 tablespoons of seeds in warm water until they are sof.
- Add a little water and grind them into a paste.
- Rub the paste into the affected areas of your skin.
- Repeat the process daily for as long as necessary.
Garlic tastes great and it is really good for you. Allicin, one of its active compounds provides natural antibiotic protection ideal for fighting conditions like cellulitis. Garlic is also a natural anti-inflammatory that helps soothe swelling and tenderness in the skin. If you can tolerate it, try eating several raw garlic cloves daily but if not, there are other ways to use it.
- Fry 3 or 4 crushed cloves and add some virgin coconut oil.
- Allow it to cool and strain the oil into a container.
- Apply the mixture to your skin and let it work for several hours before washing it away well.
- Repeat the process daily.
Alternatively, you can simply crush a few garlic cloves and apply them directly to the affected areas but people with sensitive skin might find this method uncomfortable.
Another very well-known remedy for a variety of skin complaints, calendula helps soothe tender skin and heals wounds by promoting blood flow and stimulates the production of collagen.
- Steep 2 table spoons of calendula petals in hot water for at least 10 minute.
- Dip in a clean cloth and apply to the affected skin.
- Let it sit for up to 30 minutes before washing it off.
- Repeat the process several times daily for as long as necessary.
8. Activated charcoal
Activated charcoal helps the body to remove toxins and draw out other impurities which can cause infections and inflammation of the skin. Combined with flaxseed, it can make a very effective treatment for cellulitis.
- Mix a tablespoon of activated charcoal with an equal amount of ground flaxseed, add some water and mix well into a paste.
- Spread the paste onto a fresh paper towel then cover it with another towel to make a poultice.
- Apply the poultice to the affected areas of your skin cover it in some kind of plastic and secure it in place by using tape.
- Leave the poultice in place for at least a few hours or even overnight.
- Try repeating this method over the course of 4 or 5 days.
Echinacea is an herb that is well known as a natural remedy for skin conditions and can be used to good effect for cellulitis. Echinacea is a great source of healthful flavonoids which offer immune system support as well as antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help fight off bacterial infections. It is one of the most popular herbal remedies and is widely available in several forms.
- You can take Echinacea supplements orally.
- Echinacea creams and ointments are used for a number of skin conditions including cellulitis.
10. Manuka honey
All honeys have antimicrobial properties but manuka honey possesses especially potent antibacterial qualities that have been proven effective against a range of infections including antibiotic resistant strains like the deadly MRSA bacteria. Manuka honey is also known to expedite the healing of wounds and the use of therapeutic grade manuka has even been approved in hospitals in various countries.
- Simply spread your therapeutic grade manuka honey onto the affected areas of the skin.
- Let the honey work its magic on your skin for several hours.
- Repeat the process until your symptoms have cleared up.