Conditions + Treatments

Treatments for Cellulitis in Children

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Specific treatment for cellulitis will be determined by your child's physician based on your child's age, overall health and medical history.

Immediate treatment can help prevent the spread of cellulitis. Treatment may include:

  • oral or intravenous (IV) antibiotics
  • warm, wet dressings on the infection site
  • surgical intervention
  • rest

If your child's arm or leg is affected, his her physician may also have you elevate the extremity and decrease the amount of activity.

Based on the physical examination, your child's physician may treat your child in the hospital depending on the severity of the cellulitis. In the hospital, your child may receive antibiotics and fluids through an intravenous (IV) catheter.

Are there any complications from cellulitis?

Complications can be reduced with prompt and accurate treatment by your child's physician. The most common complications include:

  • meningitis, an inflammation of the membrane of the brain and the spinal cord
  • septic (infectious) arthritis, an infection of a joint caused by bacteria
  • glomerulonephritis, an inflammation of the kidneys
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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