How is cellulitis treated?

Cellulitis is usually treated with antibiotics such as dicloxacillin or cephalexin. In most cases, these can be taken by mouth. More serious cases of cellulitis and those that do not resolve with oral antibiotics may require hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics.

Warm compresses can be applied to the affected area to reduce symptoms and irritation. Elevating the affected area can help reduce swelling.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 02/24/2019.


  • American Academy of Dermatology. Cellulitis. Accessed 3/19/2019.
  • Bolognia J, Cerroni L, Schaffer, JV, eds. “Bacterial Diseases.” Dermatology. Philadelphia: Elsevier Saunders; 2018. 1259-1295.

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