How to Spot Cellulitis

Okay. I’m no doctor, but I’ve had Cellulitis and it really, really hurt. That’s not meant to scare you (as it can be really quite minor) but the infection is no joke. If you are unfortunate enough to catch it, look out for these signs:

  1. The most obvious sign of Cellulitis is blotchy red skin which becomes sensitive to touch (try not to, you’ll aggravate it).
  2. Travelling pain. Mine started at the base of my toes, moved to my foot, shin, calf, knee and up to my groin. It’s essential that you stop it ASAP as the infection can further damage your lymphatics the further around your body it spreads.
  3. You might get hot, cold, sweaty and shiver i.e. a fever. Not fun.
  4. Heat. For Lymphoedema this is a sign of any aggravation in general, never mind Cellulitis. Where there is heat, often there is something going on, but in the case of Cellulitis the heat will be noticeably more apparent.
  5. Another key sign of Cellulitis is glossy, shiny skin. Almost like someone had layered your skin with a coating of plastic, your infected body part will feel tight and sore.



  1. Pingback: Part 1: Two Weeks Annual Leave | Left Leg First
  2. Elaine · September 20, 2017

    Just a note on cellulitis – it doesn’t always clue you in with major pain. In my case, I just didn’t feel well and a few hours later I was burning up with fever and throwing up, with my leg burning to the touch and red. I didn’t think of cellulitis, probably because I was so sick. I went to a doctor, got IV antibiotics, but was sent home with instructions to go to a major hospital the next day. A day of tests and straight in I went! The infection was threatening to take over my body but I really don’t remember much pain at all. I know other people with similar experiences so I’d say redness but especially HEAT are pretty standard danger signs. Hope you’re fully recovered now


    • leftlegfirst · September 25, 2017

      Hi Elaine, thanks for the insight – I will change it.


  3. zebrahouses · September 28, 2017

    Hi LLF! First off, I Love your Blog!!!! Great writing.
    I’ve had LE for over 45 years now, both legs below the knees. I used to get cellulitis about 4 times a year. My brother, also has LE, would get cellulitis real bad, and end up in the hospital almost every time. Well, I finally found my miracle, and I hope it will help you too. I started putting Neosporin, the gel kind not the cream, between my toes after every bath. I have not had an incident since Nov 2013. 4 years cellulitis free. I told my brother about my discovery, but he was too busy, or unimpressed to follow my advice. He continued to have multiple incidences for another 2 years. Finally, finally he decided to give it a try. Voila! He’s not completely free of it, but he now has much milder cases, and much, much fewer. He kindof feels like an idiot, but I still love him.
    Now you must know about my other rules to not get cellulitis. One – if you have athlete’s foot CURE IT NOW. That’s what is causing the cellulitis for sure. TWO – If you must bathe anywhere outside of your home, or are going into a public gym locker you must wear some foot covering. I finally hit upon rain booties as the best answer. in a pinch, wrap a plastic bag around your feet. Three – always dry between your toes after bath. Four ANY break in the skin, cut, cat scratch etc gets neosporin and a bandage pronto. FIVE – ALWAYS have a bottle of antibiotic on hand especially when you travel. When you feel the heat or see red (you will get better at noticing the early signs) start taking the antibiotics. Don’t wait to see the doctor, take it right away and then see the doctor. Minutes can make a big difference.
    Every morning wake up, feel your legs to see if they feel warm. Tell them that even tho they are big, and ugly, and make your life a lot harder, that you still love them, and forgive them. They can’t help it, they are doing the best that they can.
    Lastly. Take up bike riding. It will help the leg LE a lot.
    Have a great life. LE is a bump in the road.
    p.s. They are doing a research study at Stanford on a pill that they think might cure this crap. Google Ubenimex and stanford and lymphedema. Or go to to read up on it. It’s still many years down the road, but it is a ray of hope.


  4. briella p · February 8, 2018

    My mother has cellulitis on her legs from bring sedentary… her legs looked all blistered and scabby. I have tried a lot of other products, but nothing worked as well as the Made from Earth Pure Aloe Skin Treatment. Within three days her legs were definitely much better, and after a week of using this just once a day, the problem is almost gone.


    • leftlegfirst · February 13, 2018

      I will certainly have to check that out, thanks for the tip! Aloe gel/cream is a miracle worker! Glad it worked for your mother 😊


  5. Tammy L Burt · March 3, 2018

    What do u put on the leg if its glossy looking?


    • leftlegfirst · March 4, 2018

      Hey Tammy, if it’s unusually red and glossy then I would consult a medical professional ASAP. When cellulitis starts you don’t want to be suffocating the skin with creams etc (in my experience). But for day to day care and preventative measures, I use a 100% pure aloe gel and a perfume free cream for sensitive skin. The aloe is healing and the cream is hydrating 😊


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