You can find a variety of different forms of bacteria living on the human skin. The most common bacterial causes of cellulitis are staphylococcus and streptococcus. Symptoms include a red, swollen, painful spreading rash and an infection that may result in chills, a fever and general fatigue. Consult your physician if you suspect cellulitis development, as this diagnosis may progress into a more serious condition if left untreated. While you are recovering from this infection, diet is important. Water, vitamins C and E, zinc and probiotics can support your body's healing.
Getting adequate fluids -- particularly water -- is important to help your body fight off the cellulitis infection. Dividing your weight in pounds in half gives you an approximate goal in ounces of how much water you should be drinking per day. Tracking urine color is a simple method of detecting your hydration level. If you are well-hydrated, your urine should be clear. Choose juice, low-fat milk, flavored water and other noncaffeinated beverages as additional options for support of your daily fluid needs.
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Sources of Vitamin C and E
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, inclusion of vitamin C and E in your dietary regimen supports cellulitis healing. Check with your physician about specific vitamin C and E amounts for supplementation. You can also include natural sources of each vitamin within your everyday diet. Vitamin C sources to be consumed are citrus fruits, watermelon, broccoli, spinach and tomatoes. Foods that contain vitamin E are leafy greens, nuts and vegetable oils.
Zinc is an additional nutrient that aids in cellulitis healing. More specifically, zinc improves the strength of your skin cells and is important while treating this condition. In a diet with variety, many of the foods that you eat contain zinc. Beef, lobster, baked beans, whole grains, almonds and milk are good dietary sources to include to ensure zinc consumption. Discuss supplemental zinc, which may also be beneficial, with your physician.
Regular intake of foods containing probiotics, such as yogurt, is another method to help you recover from cellulitis. While antibiotics are often needed for treatment, they act to reduce your body's good and bad bacteria. Eating yogurt containing the probiotic Lactobacillus acidophilus supports the replenishment of good bacteria in your body to fight off the cellulitis infection. Read the nutrition facts label to ensure the yogurt you choose contains live and active cultures to obtain probiotic benefits.
- MedlinePlus: Cellulitis
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Cellulitis
- Wound Repair and Regeneration: Effect of Oral Hydration on Skin Microcirculation in Healthy Young and Midlife and Older Adults
- U.S. News and World Report: The Truth About How Much Water You Should Really Drink
- MedlinePlus: Vitamin C
- MedlinePlus: Vitamin E
- National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements: Zinc Fact Sheet for Professionals
- California Dairy Research Foundation: Probiotics Basics
Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.