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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Necrotizing fasciitis is a rare bacterial infection that spreads quickly and destroys skin, fat, and muscle. It is also known as flesh-eating bacteria. Necrotizing fasciitis is a life-threatening infection that must be treated immediately.
Seek care immediately if:
- You have a fever and a new wound with redness, swelling, or pain.
- You have flu-like symptoms within 24 hours of an injury.
- You have dark blisters near your wound that drain black fluid.
- The area around your wound is numb.
- The skin around your wound becomes discolored or flaky.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have a sore throat.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
- Medicines help treat your infection and reduce your pain.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her 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 healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
A dietitian may help you create high-protein meal plans to help with wound healing. High-protein foods include lean meats, fish, low-fat dairy products, and beans.
Physical therapy (PT):
You may need physical therapy to help improve movement and strength, and to decrease pain. PT also helps to promote blood flow and prevent clots.
Help prevent another infection:
- Clean all wounds immediately. Use soap and water to clean even small breaks in your skin, such as minor cuts or blisters. Cover the wounds with a sterile bandage.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. Wash your hands after you use the bathroom, cough, sneeze, or blow your nose. Wash your hands before you prepare food or eat.
- Limit exposure to bacteria. Avoid people who are sick and have a sore throat. The bacteria that cause strep throat can also cause necrotizing fasciitis.
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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.