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What is Lymphangitis

Updated on March 21, 2013

What Is Lymphangitis? How do you know if you Have it?

Well I am currently being treated for Lymphangitis and this is my second time. So what is Lymphangitis? Well most people refer to it as Blood Poisoning and it's not. It can lead to it, but it doesn't mean you have Blood Poisoning. But it is very dangerous and should be treated as soon as possible. I'll show you pictures of my infection and Lymphangitis to give you an idea of what to look out for.

What Causes Lymphangitis

How to prevent Lymphangitis

Well in short bacteria causes Lymphangitis. Mostly the Streptococcus bacteria. You can get it from an animal bite or from any open wound. The best way to prevent yourself from getting Lymphangitis is to practice good hygiene habits. Keep your hands clean and do not bite your fingernails. That's how I got an infection in my finger and I am trying to break that habit. Your mouth is a very dirty place and has no business on your nails or near your cuticles.

The Symptoms of Lymphangitis

What you need to look out for when you have an infection

The symptoms of Lymphangitis include fever, chills, headache and a rapid heartbeat. The most important thing to look out for is the red streaks coming from the site of infection. They are warm and very tender when touched. It looks almost like a rash. It's best to get treated as soon as you see the red streaks.

My very first run in with Lymphangitis I didn't see the red streaks. Not that they weren't there, they were in an area where I couldn't get a close look. The nurse saw it though and knew what it was. I was admitted to the hospital within the hour and on IV antibiotics. I had a cellulitis infection and waited almost a week to get treated for it. After that I am a bit more careful about any infections.

How is Lymphangitis Treated?

Lymphangitis is easily treated when caught early

Well your doctor will know best on how to treat you, but I'll put your mind at ease. A simple round of antibiotics can do the trick. You may need an injection of antibiotics at first to slow down the infection and then oral antibiotics. It's very important that you get seen as quickly as possible. You don't want to spend a few days in the hospital on an IV.

Some people swear by natural remedies, but I have not tried them and can't give my opinion on it. I know there's fear of over using antibiotics, but this is a very serious infection. We're not talking about giving antibiotics out for anything. Just make sure you finish what the doctor gives you.

what is lymphangitis
what is lymphangitis

My Personal Battle with Lymphangitis

This is how I found out what Lymphangitis was

Well on October 22nd 2011 I bit my nails and wasn't paying attention and hit the cuticle. It was a small nick and I thought nothing of it. The next day my cuticle swelled a little and was a tiny bit painful. I've had small infections in my nail area from biting my nails all the time so thought nothing more of it. Well on October 25th 2011 I woke up at 7 am and saw my cuticle inflamed and filled with pus. After looking further I saw a long red streak going from cuticle to the base of my finger. I've had cellulitis before and knew red streaks meant bad news. At 3 pm I marked my hand where the red streak had spread further.

Fast forward to 6 pm that same day. I was laying on the couch with a fever and chills another sign that I was in trouble. The red streak had moved up to my inner elbow. I couldn't take it anymore and had to be seen. The attending physician at the Urgent Care knew what I had. I even knew a little bit after searching the internet. I explained to him about my nail biting so he would get an idea of what type of bacteria could of infected my finger. Always good to be open and honest with your doctor.

My treatment began in the office with a huge dose of antibiotic given by the nurse. It hurt, but I was given the option of a shot or going to the hospital in 2 days and getting it via an IV. I may hate needles, but I hate IV's the most. I'm just glad to have this under control and on the 26th (today) the swelling has gone down and the red streak is almost gone. Now I am about to start taking my Kflex to make sure I get rid of any infection.

The picture is of my finger with the Red Streak. Sorry it's a little blurry used a Flip Video camera and took a snapshot from video.

Did this help you find out What is Lymphangitis?

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    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 6 years ago


    • emmaklarkins profile image

      emmaklarkins 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your personal story so that others can get the help they need.