Most people with erysipelas can be treated at home, but some may require treatment in a hospital. Depending on the severity of your condition, your treatment plan can include home remedies, medication, or surgery.
Usually, the affected part of the body must be raised higher than the rest of your body to reduce swelling. For example, if your leg is affected, you should try to rest as much as possible with the leg elevated above your hip. You may prop up your leg on some cushions while lying down. It’s also important to drink plenty of fluids and to get up and walk around from time to time. You may have to keep your leg elevated for several days before the swelling goes away.
Antibiotics, such as penicillin, are the most common treatment for erysipelas. You may be able to take an oral prescription at home if you have a mild case of erysipelas. You’ll likely have to take medications for about one week. More serious cases of erysipelas are generally treated at the hospital, where antibiotics can be given through a vein (IV). Young children and older adults may also require treatment in a hospital. Occasionally, the bacteria don’t respond to the antibiotic and it’s necessary to try a different type of drug.
You may also be given painkillers to reduce discomfort and treat the fever.
Anti-fungal medication for athlete’s foot may be required if this is the cause of your erysipelas.
Surgery is only required in rare cases of erysipelas that have progressed rapidly and caused healthy tissue to die. A surgical operation may be needed to cut away the dead tissue.