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StepUp-SpeakOut.Org BlogSpot

Hello and welcome to the StepUp-SpeakOut.Org Blog Spot.

We will be using this blog for fast updates on news and information in the field of Secondary Lymphedema as a result of Breast Cancer.

We will be posting articles and information on new research and treatments, legislative and insurance information, and other pertinent information, and invite your comments.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Risk factors for cellulitis in patients with lymphedema on April 7, 2014 by Lindsay Davey

Severe bacterial infection called ‘cellulitis’ is common in people with lymphedema.  New clinical research suggests potential risk factors to avoid.
Cellulitis is a severe inflammation that is visible as red patches on the skin that may be swollen, hot, and painful to touch. Without treatment cellulitis can quickly become life-threatening in some cases.  If you believe you may have cellulitis you should see a doctor for treatment with antibiotics.  If you have an accompanying fever, if the infection appears to be getting worse, or has red streaks spreading out from it, you may have a very serious infection that requires immediate medical attention.
Cellulitis is caused by bacterial infection of the skin and underlying tissues. Cellulitis can arise from infection with a variety of bacteria, including those normally present on the skin. People with lymphedema are predisposed to cellulitis, and may develop it without having had any noticeable cut or break in the skin.  This predisposition is due to localized immune system depression arising from decreased lymph circulation – a key component in maintaining infection control.  People with lymphedema should learn how to monitor and prevent cellulitis.


In addition to careful monitoring and infection prevention strategies, the latest research suggests that by getting swelling under control, and by being mindful of high-fat food and meat consumption, people with lymphedema may decrease their probability of developing cellulitis.
  1. Teerachaisakul M., Ekataksin W., et al. Risk factors for cellulitis in patients with lymphedema: a case-controlled study. Lymphology. 2013 Sep;46(3):150-6.

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