Property & Home celebrity guest editor Martin Roberts has warned of the dangers of cellulitis after a shock hospitalisation last week.
Martin was away from social media for a week after a flare-up of the condition, which has previously affected one foot; this time both feet were affected, and Martin warned followers: ‘It can get really serious’.
Martin’s now recovering, but the Homes Under The Hammer presenter, 57, spent six hours in A&E in Poole Hospital on Monday 26th July, after the condition became worse and worse, and his swollen feet left him in agony.
Cellulitis is normally treated with antibiotics, but Martin had been unable to get them from his local pharmacy, who he said showed ‘no recognition of how serious this is.’
He Tweeted: “B****y cellulitis has flared up again and it’s spread to my other leg too. The chemists wouldn’t give me the antibiotics I’d been prescribed, despite seeing my leg, due to a ‘system error’ and no recognition of how serious this is.”
He shared an image of his swollen foot alongside the caption, with the warning “Unless you get those antibiotics into you quickly it can get really, really, serious.”
By the following Saturday, Martin had recovered enough to post a video to fans thanking them for their kind messages, but also issuing a stark warning about the dangers of cellulitis, saying: “So I’m glad to say that here on this Saturday morning, it’s finally feeling a bit better, but it does go to show that you do need to take this seriously.
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“If you’ve got anything like I had, this cellulitis, look at the pictures of what it looked like and get it treated soon, because unless you get those antibiotics into you quickly it can get really, really, serious. And even with antibiotics it takes a while to get better!”
“But I just want to say thank you so much for your amazing messages and kindness. It genuinely has made such a difference, so thanks for staying with me on the night and following up and checking how I am, I really appreciate it.”
Cellulitis is a painful skin infection, often caused by bacteria entering a wound, that makes the skin hot, swollen and blistered. It can affect any part of your body, but particularly the extremities including the hands, legs and feet, and left untreated it can spread to the lymph nodes and bloodstream, turning into life-threatening sepsis.
The NHS says that for mild cellulitis affecting a small area of skin, a doctor will prescribe antibiotic tablets – usually for a week.
Your symptoms might get worse in the first 48 hours of treatment, but should then start to improve.
You should contact a GP if you do not start to feel better 2 to 3 days after starting antibiotics. It’s important to keep taking antibiotics until they’re finished, even when you feel better. Most people make a full recovery after 7 to 10 days. If cellulitis is severe, you might be referred to hospital for treatment.
You’re more at risk of cellulitis if you:
- Have poor circulation in your arms, legs, hands or feet, for example, because you’re overweight
- Find it difficult to move around
- Have a weakened immune system, for example, because of chemotherapy treatment or diabetes
- Have lymphoedema, which causes fluid build-up under the skin
- Inject drugs
- Have a wound from surgery
- Have had cellulitis before
People who are more at risk of cellulitis should treat athlete’s foot promptly.
Some people with recurring cellulitis might be prescribed low-dose long-term antibiotics to stop infections coming back. As well as taking antibiotics for cellulitis, you can help speed up your recovery by:
- Taking paracetamol or ibuprofen for the pain
- Raising the affected body part on a pillow or chair when you’re sitting or lying down, to reduce swelling
- Regularly moving the joint near the affected body part, such as your wrist or ankle, to stop it getting stiff
- Drinking plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration
- Not wearing compression stockings until you’re better
You can reduce the chances of getting cellulitis again by:
- Keeping skin clean and well moisturised
- Cleaning any cuts or wounds and using antiseptic cream
- Preventing cuts and scrapes by wearing appropriate clothing and footwear
- Wearing gloves if working outside
If it’s not treated quickly, the infection can spread to other parts of the body, such as the blood, muscles and bones. You should call 999 or go to A&E immediately if you have cellulitis with:
- A very high temperature, or you feel hot and shivery
- A fast heartbeat or fast breathing
- Purple patches on your skin, but this may be less obvious on brown or black skin
- Feeling dizzy or faint
- Confusion or disorientation
- Cold, clammy or pale skin
- Unresponsiveness or loss of consciousness
These are symptoms of serious complications, which can be life threatening.
Some of Martin’s 27,700 Twitter followers sent their best wishes, one saying that he hoped the condition didn’t affect Martin’s much-discussed campaign to get a place on Strictly Come Dancing.
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