Important Info on Breast Cellulitis
Symptoms of breast cellulitis occur at the location of the infected skin (local cellulitis symptoms) or on other parts of the body (systemic cellulitis symptoms).
Skin affected by cellulitis will commonly be:
- Warm to the touch
- Painful to the touch.
In breast cellulitis, it is also common for skin symptoms to extend to the shoulder, back, and upper arm. The patient may also have a low-grade fever.
In rare cases, other symptoms of breast cellulitis may include:
- High fever
- Body aches
- Decreased appetite
- Breast abscess (pus-filled cavity).
These symptoms of breast cellulitis can represent a more serious case of the infection.
Your doctor can make a breast cellulitis diagnosis by asking a number of questions, reviewing your medical history, performing a physical exam, and ordering certain blood tests. The most reliable way of diagnosing breast cellulitis involves examining the affected area.
A blood test will be ordered to confirm any indication of an infection.
The goal of breast cellulitis treatment is to treat the affected area and any underlying conditions that would increase the likelihood of a recurrence. Treatments for breast cellulitis involve antibiotics and recurrence prevention.
Treating breast cellulitis starts with antibiotics. Depending on the severity of the infection, antibiotics are given by mouth or through an IV. Be sure to tell your doctor if you are allergic to penicillin. If a breast abscess is present, surgery may be needed to drain the abscess.
In order to help reduce the chances of breast cellulitis returning, your doctor may recommend that you avoid:
- Needle sticks
- Tight fitting clothing
It is important to let your doctor know if you have developed cellulitis following mammograms so that preventative antibiotics may be prescribed.
Doctors may prescribe antibiotics for longer periods of time for those people who continue to get breast cellulitis.