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Dd (age 4) has cellulitis in her hand - it has doubled in size - reassuring stories please

(17 Posts)
hippipotami Mon 03-Sep-07 08:00:56

Yesterday morning I noticed dd's hand was a little red and puffy. I thought 'mosquito bite' and forgot about it. By lunchtime it looked redder and puffier. I had a close look, could not see a bit mark, but applied sting cream to ease the itching.
Last night her hand really swelled (is that a word?) up and she was very itchy so dh took her to the out of hours doc as advised by nhs direct.
Diagnosis cellulitis, she has been given a course of Erythromycin.

First question - the doc SAID to give the AB's 3 times a day. But on the label she WROTE 4 times a day. Which is it? She is a tall, skinny 4.9 year old.

Second question - how long will the AB's take to kick in. She has had two doses so far (last night and this morning) and so far it looks worse.
I know it is early days re the AB's but am worried about her poor little hand. It is so swollen she is unable to use her fingers.

Any help / advice / reassuring stories gratefully received.

JuA Mon 03-Sep-07 08:04:44

Erythromycin usually four times a day.
Draw a line around the edge of the redness - if it extends significantly past this now she is taking antibiotics - I would take her to Docs.

NormaStanleyFletcher Mon 03-Sep-07 08:05:55

I would give the ABs 4 times a day.

I have never had it but a colleague at work has a few times. ABs usually kick in quite quickly and clear it up fine, leaving no mark or lasting sign that it ever happened.

Does it have a clear boundary where the infection ends? He was always told to draw round it and make sure that it doesen't get any bigger.

Good luck, and I hope it clears up really quickly

poptot Mon 03-Sep-07 08:08:12

Hi it's usually 3 times a day, ring the surgery and check. It's an unusual choice for cellulitis, it's usually fluclox or penicillin. Is she penicillin allergic? Need to give them 48 hours to kick in. She does need to elevate it, could you make her a sling or can she sit with it on a cushion.

Tiggiwinkle Mon 03-Sep-07 08:22:47

My DS has just had this in his hand. He was given Flucloxacillin to take 4 times a day. We were told to draw round the redness as suggested below, and take him back straight away if it spread at all.
Skin infections can be quite resistant to treatment, so if you are at all worried I would take her to see your own GP today.

tissy Mon 03-Sep-07 08:24:58

erythromycin is FOUR times a day

if no better today take her to the HOSPITAL

hippipotami Mon 03-Sep-07 09:32:39

Thanks guys!
Tissy - you are scaring me (eek)

She is fine in herself, happily playing/eating etc.

There is no defined red line as such, her ring finger is worst affected, and then the redness has spread to the two adjoining fingers and then graduates down her hand.
It does look puffier than last night though, but the AB's have not yet had a chance to kick in.

As there is no break in the skin (have no idea how the infection got in), will she be allowed to go swimming? It is her first lesson after the holidays today and she desperately wants to go.

Tiggiwinkle Mon 03-Sep-07 09:50:28

If it is more swollen than last night, I would honestly get her checked again. These type if infections are taken very seriously (dont want to scare you but they can spread to nearby joints for instance) and sometimes need IV antibiotics. This is why they say to take them back immediately if there is no improvement or it gets worse.

loopylou6 Mon 03-Sep-07 10:05:30

i would wait at least 24 hours for the antibiotics to kick in, ive just had some for a VERY nastily infected bite and it took 2 days for me to see an improvment, but i would keep a very close eye on her, and obviousley if the redness is really spreading then take her back to the docs

hippipotami Mon 03-Sep-07 10:29:56

Right, just rang the gp for advice [panicking mum emoticon]

He said that as dd only started AB's last night, it is inevitable it looks more swollen than last night as at the mo the infection still has the upper hand. (pardon the pun) He said to review tomorrow morning when she has been on AB's 24 hours. He is not expecting her hand to have shrunk by tomorrow am, but is expecting to see a 'halt in the progress of the infection' (ie things to have stayed the same overnight.)

Then by Wednesday morning we would expect to see the swelling and redness subside ever so slightly and he will review on Friday morning. (Have booked appt for this)

So, I am expecting to see miracles, he said to be patient and not worry. Re the itchyness/discomfort he said to put a damp flannel on (which I have done). Incidentally he said that if dd feels up to it then swimming would be fine as it would be in a chlorinated pool and her skin is not open/weeping.

So there we are, I have to relax grin, all is fine.

Wags Mon 03-Sep-07 10:51:55

I had this in my elbow and the Dr drew a line and if it went a certain amount further I would have had to be admitted for IV anti-biotics. I also had penicillin at the same time as the ABs. So do keep a really careful eye on it and just keep going back to Dr or even A&E if you are at all worried. I also ran a temp and felt quite unwell with it. I was told the infection can just enter on something as tiny as maybe a hang nail and then tends to make its way to a joint. Be warned, when the swelling and infection goes, the skin often all peels off, rather as if its been sunburnt. My arm looked horrible, not sore at all, but all the skin that had been red peeled off.

Tiggiwinkle Tue 04-Sep-07 13:52:24

How is DD today hippipotami?

rosealbie Tue 04-Sep-07 13:58:37

My dd has just had this in her foot, spreading from her little toe along the side of her foot and it was tracking along the top of her foot. The doctor drew a line to see if it spread any further.

The hospital did take it very seriously but rather than iv antibiotics, she had oral co-amoxiclav and flucloxicillin (sp?)for 5 days and it seemed to clear. About a week later it was red again and so she had another course of antibiotics.

The skin around her toe had peeled off although the small cut under her toe is still there. We are putting yellow parrafin on it to keep it moisturised on the advice of the doctor.

Hope your dd is feeling better now and that the ab's have kicked in.

NormaStanleyFletcher Wed 05-Sep-07 00:16:36

Would love to know how you are getting on?

Tigi Wed 05-Sep-07 10:40:48

my mum had this in her leg. Very poorly - had iv antibiotics because she was hallucunating and feverish. She is fine now, but keeps close eye on it if she ever feels feverish for any reason in case a reoccurance.

hippipotami Wed 05-Sep-07 11:26:35

Morning all!
Sorry I did not update this yesterday! Well, things are better in the hand-department. It is still somewhat puffy, and still dark - pink, but not so red, swollen and angry looking. Last night was the first night she did not wake up complaining about her hand. She did not develop a temperature but was very grizzly and unhappy yesterday (and in a foul mood)

So I think the AB's have kicked in and are doing their job.
Thanks for asking! smile

hippipotami Wed 05-Sep-07 11:29:33

Incidentally, interesting what you say about it re-occuring a week later. We run out of AB's tomorrow and I feel it is not healed enough to go without AB's already. So will be worried about it coming back [panicking mum emoticon again]

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