Lymphangitis

Written by Zachary Zerries
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Lymphangitis, a common condition associated with bacterial infections, is an infection of the lymph nodes or lymphatic system. Most often a secondary reaction to cellulitis, lymphangitis can range from fairly serious to easily curable. If you have a history of problems with your lymphatic system, you should be wary of this condition and have any skin infections that arise treated immediately.

A Basic Guide to Lymphangitis

Lymphangitis occurs when the lymph vessels become inflammed or infected due to an acute infection of the skin. If lymphangitis becomes an issue, it means that the skin infection is spreading and medical attention is necessary. If left untreated, the infection could spread to the bloodstream and become fatal.

The symptoms of lymphangitis are relatively common, so it may be hard to recognize right away. The condition starts with a swelling of the lymph channels, most often near the skin infection. Other symptoms include red streaks from the location of the lymph nodes (i.e., the groin or the armpit) to the infection, throbbing pain, fever, chills, and/or a general feeling of illness.

Treatment of lymphangitis should begin as soon as the cause has been determined; since the cause is most often bacterial in nature, antibiotics are the medication of choice. In addition to antibiotics, however, the afflicted individual can take certain steps to relieve associated pain and swelling: take an over-the-counter pain medication, elevate the area in question, apply hot, moist compresses, etc. The recovery time depends on the severity of the infection: it could be as little as a week or as much as a year.


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