Skip to content


    Exciting News for WebMD Members!

    We've been busy behind the scenes building new message boards for you. You'll have new and easier ways to find messages, connect with others, and share your stories.

    And, this will all be available on your smartphone or other mobile device!

    What Do You Need to Do?

    The message board you're used to will be closing in the coming weeks. While many of your boards will be making the move to our new home, your posts will not. Want to keep a discussion going? Save posts you want to continue (this includes your member profile story), so that you can re-post them in the new message boards.

    Keep an eye here and on your email inbox, we'll be back in touch soon to give you all the information you need!

    Yours in health,
    WebMD Message Boards Management

    Cellulitis getting worse or better?
    spharo posted:
    I wasn't sure which forum was best for this. I have read that someone with diabetes has a higher risk of Cellulitis, so I am hoping I may get some help here. I do not have diabetes.
    Hi, I got a tattoo Saturday night. I made the poor decision to go to work the following night. (Im a bartender). I noticed some swelling, but I assumed it was normal, because the tattoo is on my forearm and elbow.

    The following morning (monday) it was red, and more swollen. There was no puss, or sores or anything. The tattoo itself seemed okay. I have several already. I went to the ER that afternoon and the PA said it was likely a reaction to the red ink. He sent me on my way.

    I went to work that night, and it only got worse. The pain was intense, and localized to my elbow joint. My entire forearm was grossly swollen. After work at 2AM I went back to the ER. The doctor there diagnosed me with Cellulitis. I was given Vancomycin intravenously, and vicodin and bactrim DS orally. He also wrote me a 5 day prescription for bactrim DS and Vicodin.

    Today is the second day of medication for me. I have noticed a decrease in swelling around my upper arm and elbow, but my forearm still seems swollen. I get pain when I let my arm hand at its side, and dont elevate it. Ive also started getting headaches.

    I read about what Cellulitis is, and it has me utterly horrified. How long does it take for me to see a considerable decrease in swelling? Are the headaches related? Am I "in the clear" now that I am on antibiotics? I've been stressing out that these headaches mean that its turning into meningitis.

    Thanks for any help.
    brunosbud responded:
    You have a serious infection. Most people in their lifetime come down with a serious infection at some point...Not a big deal if you follow dr's orders. Pneumonia is a common infection. Urinary tract infections, yeast infections and kidney infections are a few others. Two years ago, one of my dogs was attacked by a pitbull and I got bit in the hand when I jumped in to separate them. Even though I treated the wound, immediately, after two days I developed headaches, fever and considerable swelling . I went to Urgent Care, got shots (antibiotics) and was given common sense instructions to perform, afterwards. Take all antibiotics prescribed. Keep the wound clean with fresh dressings, daily. Drink lots of water. Get plenty of rest. No alcohol and stay away from cigarette smoke. No junk food. Go to the ER if swelling grows or fever continues after a couple days (or if you pass out while sitting on the head)...

    Whatever "-itis" you have, your body has been-there-done- that more times than you can count. But, because your body is under seize and badly compromised (diabetes, hypertension, obesity, dyslipidemia, IBS, gout, etc, etc), at this moment, it needs your full attention and cooperation, now. In other words, "How's about we pull from the same end of the rope, this time...".

    You have a potentially life threatening condition and by taking simple, healthy, common sense lifestyle precautions, you'll be right as rain, soon. Good luck.
    debs_bears responded:
    I am shocked they sent you home - when I had cellulitis in the forearm due to an infusion treatment I rec'd I went to the ER cause I had red lines going up my arm they admitted me and told me I was not to use or move my arm for 4 days. They actually put it on a board and taped it down. I was on IV antibiotics for the 4 days and oral antibiotics for the next 2 weeks. It took almost a month for my arm to be good again.

    Since you still have pain and swelling you need to go back to the ER. I never got headaches with it.
    May the Blessings of the Lord be with you always. If you want to know more about me press on my picture. Debbie

    Helpful Tips

    A Diabetes Reversal StoryExpert
    Many people understand that they can probably improve their diabetes by eating right and exercising, but figuring out how to make it ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    82 of 154 found this helpful

    Expert Blog

    Conquering Diabetes - Michael Dansinger, MD

    Dr. Michael Dansinger provides thoughtful tips for those with type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes who want to reclaim their health...Read More

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.