How is lymphangitis treated?

Updated: Dec 17, 2018
  • Author: Raymond D Pitetti, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Answer

Patients with lymphangitis should be treated with an appropriate antimicrobial agent. [8] Children in stable social situations who appear nontoxemic and who are older than 3 years, afebrile, and well hydrated may be treated initially with oral antibiotics in an outpatient setting. Adult patients who appear nontoxemic, are afebrile, and well hydrated may also be treated initially with oral antibiotics in an outpatient setting. Ensure close follow-up.

Parenteral antibiotics may be required for patients with signs of systemic illness (eg, fever, chills and myalgia, lymphangitis).

Aggressively treat patients who are suspected of having group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus infection; these cases can progress rapidly and have been associated with serious complications.

Analgesics can be used to control pain, and anti-inflammatory medications can help to reduce inflammation and swelling. Hot, moist compresses also help to reduce inflammation and pain.

If possible, elevate and immobilize affected areas to reduce swelling, pain, and the spread of infection. An abscess may require surgical drainage.


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