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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Lymphangitis is an infection of the lymph vessels beneath your skin. Lymph vessels are part of your lymph system, which helps to fight infection and drain excess fluid from the body. Lymphangitis is caused by a skin infection that spreads to the lymph vessels through a wound in the skin. It often occurs on an arm or leg.
You may be given any of the following:
- Medicines treat the bacteria, fungus, or parasites that caused your infection.
- Acetaminophen decreases pain and fever. It is available without a doctor's order. Ask how much to take and how often to take it. Follow directions. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly.
- NSAIDs decrease swelling and pain or fever. This medicine can be bought with or without a doctor's order. This medicine can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your primary healthcare provider (PHP) if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow the directions on it before using this medicine.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your PHP if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your PHP within 48 hours, or as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
- Use hot, moist compresses as directed to help reduce pain.
- Elevate the infected area above the level of your heart as often as you can. This will help decrease swelling and pain. Prop your arm or leg on pillows or blankets to keep it elevated comfortably.
Carefully wash the wound with soap and water. Dry the area and put on new, clean bandages as directed. Change your bandages when they get wet or dirty.
Contact your PHP if:
- Your symptoms do not improve or get worse after treatment.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You have a high fever and chills.
- You cannot think clearly.
- You have a fast heartbeat.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.