Cellulitis is a non-contagious condition that causes an infection in the skin’s dermal layers. While this is a common condition, it is potentially dangerous as it causes damage to the skin. At the affected site, the skin will usually feature swellings, reddened skin and tender to touch. While this disease is not contagious, it has the capacity to spread to different parts of the body. Parts of the body that are commonly affected by this condition include the lower legs and hands. If left unattended to, cellulitis becomes a life-threatening infection.
In addition to the changes in the skin, other symptoms that accompany advanced cellulitis include vomiting, quick breathing, a state of confusion and increased body temperature. It is important to see a doctor to diagnose the condition through skin examination and additional tests if needed.
Home remedies are only applicable to minor infections. In order to use these remedies effectively, it becomes important to realize some of the common triggers for the development of this skin infection. Cellulitis often occurs in parts of the body where the skin is broken. This may be the result of a bite, a wound after surgery, a cut or even skin conditions that cause damage to the skin cells.
While cellulitis tends to clear on its own, it may progress to something more serious. If the condition does not respond to the home remedies included below, make sure you see a doctor for concrete diagnosis.
1. Coconut Oil:
Time Required: 30 Min to 2 Hrs
What You Need: 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil, cotton wool balls and warm water to rinse.
Coconut oil is used for the treatment of cellulitis because it has a high concentration of helpful fatty acids that help combat the infection-causing bacteria. These anti-bacterial properties make the oil a simple but effective home remedy. Coconut oil also has the advantage of speeding the healing process by soothing the affected skin and reducing the pain.
- Dab the coconut oil on the cotton wool and proceed to apply on the affected part of the skin.
- Allow the oil to remain on the skin for anywhere between 30 minutes and 2 hours. This allows the effects of the oil to steep in to the deeper layers of the skin.
- Make use of this remedy as often as is required as you monitor any improvements.
2. Oil Of Oregano:
Time Required: Between 30 Min and 2 Hrs
What You Need: 10 Drops of oil of oregano, a dropper, 4 drops of your choice carrier oil (any of the following: coconut, jojoba or olive oil) and cotton wool.
Oil of oregano is one of nature’s most potent antibiotic. As such, it is a potentially effective home remedy for the natural treatment of cellulitis. This is because in addition to its antibacterial properties, the oil is rich in anti-inflammatory compounds that helps ease the pain at the affected skin. Recent studies show that when an extract of the oil was used in post-surgery patients, there was a significant reduction in the spread of infection. For this reason, if you suffer from cellulitis, you may need to stock up on oil of oregano.
For this remedy to be effective, you will need to mix oregano oil with your choice carrier oil. Just as the name suggests, the purpose of this oil is to carry within it the active oil whose anti-bacterial properties are desired. This also reduces the chances that your skin will react against the oil as the carrier oil also acts as a dilution agent.
NOTE: It is very important for you to note that oil of oregano must never be used on broken skin on its own as you risk causing further irritation of the infected skin. Additionally, this oil must never be used by pregnant women as it can trigger early uterine contractions.
- Place the oregano oil in a shallow bowl before adding the carrier oil.
- Mix the two well before soaking in the cotton wool.
- Apply the oil mixture on the affected part of the skin and and allow it to remain there for anywhere between 30 minutes and 2 hours depending on how much time you have at your disposal.
- Rinse the affected skin with warm water.
- Repeat this procedure thrice daily until you notice that the condition of your skin is improving.
3. Tea Tree Oil:
Time Required: 30 Min to 2 Hrs
What You Need: 3 Tablespoons of warm water, 2 drops of tea tree essential oil and cotton swabs. Alternatively, mix the tea tree oil with raw organic honey.
Tea tree oil is recommended as one of the home remedies for the treatment of cellulitis, thanks to its antibacterial properties. When applied on the skin, the oil also releases its anti-inflammatory properties, thus reducing the pain and tenderness of the affected skin. The warm water is used to dilute the oil, although it is very important that you carry out a patch test to determine whether your skin is sensitive to the oil. The alternative remedy is a mixture of tea tree oil and honey. Honey is added to the remedy because it helps soothe the skin while creating a microbe-free environment around the affected skin.
- Dip the cotton swab in the warm water before using a drop to place 2 drops of the tea tree oil on the moist wool.
- Dab the cotton wool containing the mixture onto the infected skin as gently as you can.
- Let the mixture remain on the skin for anywhere between half an hour and two hours before rinsing it off with warm water. Repeat this procedure as often as is required.
- If you intend to use tea tree oil and honey in place of the dilution indicated above, simply substitute the water with honey and follow the same procedure. As with the water and oil mixture, allow it to remain on the skin for sometime before rinsing.
4. Manuka Honey:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 3 Drops of Manuka honey and warm water to rinse.
Manuka honey is used to treat bacterial infections that cause cellulitis because this form of honey has a high concentration of phytochemicals. In addition to these chemicals, the honey also contains compounds that inhibit the action of the bacteria, thus preventing their proliferation. The added benefit of using Manuka honey is that it helps speed up the healing process, thus treating cellulitis.
NOTE: This specific type of honey is native to New Zealand and it is loved for it is rich in phytochemicals.
- Scoop some of the Manuka honey and apply it on the affected skin.
- Allow the honey to sit on the skin for sometime before you rinse it off with warm water.
- Repeat this procedure at least twice daily to promote the healing process.
5. Calendula Flowers:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Calendula flowers, a cup of hot water, a strainer and a clean washcloth.
Calendula flowers are an ideal remedy for the home treatment of cellulitis. Not only do these flowers have soothing properties, they also go a long way in fighting off the infection-causing bacteria. Other benefits of using this home remedy include its ability to enhance proper blood circulation in the affected parts of the skin while increasing the synthesis of collagen. Increased production of collagen goes a long way in ensuring that the wounds heal properly. For this effective remedy to work, follow the procedures as listed below.
- Place 2 teaspoons of the calendula flowers in the cup containing hot water and allow to steep for some 10 minutes. This allows the active ingredients present in the flowers to saturate the water so that you have an effective infusion.
- Strain the infusion and discard the used flowers.
- Dip the clean washcloth in the infusion for a minute and then use it to apply the remedy on the affected part of the skin.
- Allow the solution to remain on the skin for about 20 minutes.
- Repeat this procedure thrice daily for a couple of weeks until you notice an improvement in the condition of your skin.
Time Required: 40 Min to 2 Hrs
What You Need: 2 Fresh garlic cloves, pestle & mortar, coconut oil, strainer and cotton wool.
Garlic has long been used for the treatment of different skin disorders, thanks to its excellent natural antibiotic properties. This is essential in dealing with the bacteria responsible for causing cellulitis. Garlic is a potent remedy because it contains a sulfur-based compound known as allicin. Allicin creates a harsh environment for the bacteria so that over time, it is effectively able to treat cellulitis. Coconut oil is added to this remedy both for its benefits as well as to provide a base carrier for the minced garlic as indicated in the directions below.
- Peel and chop the garlic cloves into small pieces before crushing using a pestle and mortar.
- Fry the minced garlic in excess coconut oil for 10 minutes. Use low heat for this particular step.
- Allow the mixture to cool down before passing it through a strainer.
- Using cotton wool, apply some of the garlic-coconut oil mixture on the affected part of the skin.
- Let the mixture remain on the skin for up to 2 hours before rinsing it off.
- Repeat this procedure twice daily.
- If you are pressed for time and would still like to get the most of this remedy, you may omit the use of coconut oil and simply apply the minced garlic directly on your inflamed skin.
- Note, however, that this option is not recommended for people with sensitive skin as it may further irritate the affected skin.
7. Turmeric Poultice:
Time Required: 40 Min
What You Need: 1 Teaspoon of turmeric powder, 2 teaspoons of bentonite clay, a tablespoon of organic honey and 3 drops of tea tree oil. Warm water to rinse.
Turmeric poultice is recommended as one of the ideal home remedies for the treatment of cellulitis, largely because turmeric is a naturally occurring antibiotic, and whose antiseptic properties help deal with the infection. The main active found in turmeric, and which is responsible for its healing properties is known as curcumin. This remedy is made even more potent by the addition of honey which has excellent antimicrobial properties, bentonite clay which helps slough off the excessive dead skin as well as tea tree oil whose benefits have been outlined above.Below are the directions for the preparation of turmeric poultice.
- Mix the turmeric and the honey to create a consistent paste-like substance.
- Proceed to add the tea tree oil and bentonite clay to the mixture and stir until the paste is free of lumps.
- Apply this mixture on the affected part of the skin and let it stay on for 20 minutes.
- Rinse using warm water.
- Use this remedy at least once daily for a week or so.
8. Activated Charcoal Paste:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 1 Tablespoon of activated charcoal, an equivalent amount of flax seed, paper paste and warm water to create a paste.
Difficulty : Easy
Activated charcoal is an effective toxin-absorbent, which is what makes it ideal for the home treatment of cellulitis. The charcoal is mixed with water and flax seed to create a paste. When applied on the skin, the charcoal gets rid of the impurities and helps prevent the spread of the infection. Listed below are the steps you need to follow to use this remedy for the treatment of cellulitis.
- Mix equivalent amounts of the charcoal and flax seed in a bowl.
- Add water in bits until you get the desired consistency of the paste.
- Scoop the paste and spread it on a paper towel before applying on the affected part of the skin.
- After applying generous amounts of the paste on the skin, place an extra paper towel on the paste to keep it intact.
- Cover with gauze and let the paste remain on the skin overnight.
- Repeat this remedy once daily until your skin feels better.
In addition to these remedies, it is important to eat a balanced diet as this goes a long way in ensuring the success of the treatment. Foods rich in Vitamin C play a key role in promoting the healing of damaged skin cells. These foods also boost the body’s immunity so that you are less predisposed to developing cellulitis. Once cellulitis develops, it is important to stay away from sweet treats as these hamper the natural healing of the wound. Other measures that you can take alongside natural treatments include regular exercise, adequate drinking water and remaining stress-free.