You can suffer from lymphangitis infection that can cause your suffering. Knowing about the different types of infection can help you take the necessary steps to prevent it. Have you noticed any changes in your skin? Do you see any tender red streaks that are swollen? Then, you may have lymphangitis. It can start from the opening in your skin. The infection then spreads to your groin or armpits. It is a life-threatening condition that can prove fatal. So, you need to take the necessary medical help quickly.
The infection can spread through your bloodstream and affect the entire body within hours. With proper medical treatment, you can overcome the issue. Therefore, taking the medical assistance at the right time is crucial for your recovery. The infection caused by bacteria that is also responsible for cellulitis and strep throat is dangerous. With proper care and treatment, the bacterial infection in the lymphatic vessel alleviates.
What Is Lymphangitis?
Before delving deep into the infection, you need to know where it affects. The inflammation to the lymphatic system results in Lymphangitis. Now you may wonder what lymphatic system is.
Your immune system has a significant component known as the lymphatic system. It is the network of glands, ducts, cells, and organs. Your body consists of several glands (also known as nodes) that are spread throughout the body. The glands are prominent in your groin, armpits, and under your jaw. Therefore, the lymphatic system includes organs like:
- Thymus: The organ found in your upper chest that facilitates the development of white blood cells.
- Tonsils: The organ is found in your throat.
- Spleen: It purifies your blood and has other functions. It is found in your abdomen.
Your immune system is made of the lymphocytes (immune cells) that mature within the bone marrow. The lymphocytes travel to your organs as well as lymph nodes. Subsequently, it protects your body against the virus and bacteria. Your lymphatic system is very significant for your body as it filters white blood cells. The whitish colored liquid filtered in the lymphatic system is known as lymph. The lymph travels through your body. On its travel, it collects waste products, fats, and bacteria from your cells and tissues. The lymph node is responsible to filter the harmful elements out of the fluid.
Infection In Lymphatic System
The bacteria or viruses can invade the vessels of the lymphatic system causing inflammation. It results in the infectious lymphangitis. You can experience the issue after getting the infection from a wound or cut. You can suffer from fever, chill or feel uneasy with the lymphangitis. It can cause tender red streaks to appear from the area of your wound to the nearest lymph glands. The infection is mistaken for blood poisoning and thrombophlebitis. But, it is dangerous that needs immediate attention. Ignoring the issue can result in severe complications.
Causes Of Lymphangitis
You need to know the different causes of lymphangitis. It will help you take the necessary action to prevent the problem. So, look out for the following issues that can result in the infection:
The virus or bacteria can enter your lymphatic channels through a cut or wound. It can also grow from an existing infection. So, it leads to inflammation leading to lymphangitis. The wound from an animal bite (like a dog or cat) can cause infection leading to the issue.
An existing infection can lead to the problem. The common bacterial infection types that can cause lymphangitis are:
- Acute Streptococcal Infection (Strep Throat)
- Staphylococcal Infection (Staph)
A skin infection can also lead to lymphangitis. The bacteria causing the skin infection can enter your bloodstream. So, it may result in sepsis or other inflammation that affects your whole body. Ignoring it can lead to fatal complication. Infection like sporotrichosis (soil-borne fungal infection) can develop into lymphangitis. Therefore, it mostly affects gardeners or farmers who work in the soil.
The non-infectious problem that can result in lymphangitis is the presence of a cancerous tumor. So, the presence of a malignant tumor can lead to inflammation in the lymph vessels. Malignancy in the following organs can lead to the lymphangitis:
Other Conditions Causing Lymphangitis
Some health issues can cause inflammation in the lymph nodes leading to the infection. So, people having the following disease need to maintain caution:
- Chronic steroid use
- Crohn’s disease
Symptoms Of Lymphangitis
The main symptom that indicates the presence of the infection is the red streaks on your skin. The tender and swollen skin are either visible or faint. It traces from the septic area to the nearest lymph gland. In some case, the streaks may blister. You also need to look out for the other symptoms like:
- The general feeling of illness
- Swollen lymph nodes
- A headache
- Loss of appetite
- Aching muscles
Diagnosis Of Lymphangitis
If you experience one or more symptoms described above, then seek an appointment with your doctor immediately. Your doctor will perform the following to determine the presence of the infection. So, your doctor may adopt the following to diagnose the issue:
The medical practitioner will perform a thorough physical examination. During the examination, the doctor will check your lymph nodes. It is check for the presence of swelling. Therefore, your doctor can determine the presence of the infection.
Your doctor also orders for the blood test to confirm the diagnosis. The blood culture results can reveal the presence of infection.
The biopsy can reveal the underlying cause of the swelling. It will help the doctor to develop a treatment plan.
You need to seek the help of a medical professional immediately to stop the infection from spreading. If the infection spreads, it can result in the life-threatening problem. So, you need to get treatment immediately.
Medical Treatment For Lymphangitis
Your doctor may adopt the following treatment methods to overcome the issue:
It is suggested by the doctor to overcome the bacterial infection. Therefore, two methods are adopted to get the medication in our system:
- Oral medication
- Intravenous antimicrobial therapy
Pain medication can alleviate the severe pain you suffer due to the infection. It will provide you relief. Talk to your doctor about the severity of the pain. The doctor can prescribe the painkillers depending on the pain levels.
The medical professional may prescribe anti-inflammation medication to overcome the infection. It will ease the inflammation and offer you relief.
If you have pain, then the over-the-counter medication can help. So, you can take medications like Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Advil (Ibuprofen) to relieve the pain. People with kidney or liver disease need to talk to their doctor before taking the medication. The medication is not suitable for people with gastrointestinal bleeding or stomach ulcer.
In complicated cases, your doctor may suggest surgery. Two types of surgery options are available for alleviating the infection:
Your doctor may perform surgery to drain the abscess formed due to the infection. It will eliminate the symptoms.
The surgical debridement is the removal of the lymph node. So, it removes the unhealthy node that causes the obstruction.
Home Remedies To Manage Lymphangitis
It is important that you seek medical treatment for lymphangitis. But, you can include some natural treatments at home. It will help you manage and prevent the infection from affecting your life. So, you can follow the steps to get good relief:
Along with the medications suggested by your doctor, you can apply warm compress. The moist and warm compress can reduce pain and inflammation. You just need to place a warm towel in the tender and swollen area. The warmth in the infected area promotes blood flow. Therefore, it promotes healing by keeping it for at least 10 minutes. You can also take warm showers to help reduce pain. Hence, do it for 2-3 times every day to get relief from lymphangitis.
Elevate Infected Area
Elevating the affected area can slow the spreading of the infection. It also reduces the inflammation occurring due to the lymph vessel infection. You can use pillows or chair to prop the infected area. Hence, it is useful with the leg lymphangitis. Avoid using the limb will promote healing. It also reduces the pain and swelling.
Oregano Essential Oil
Oregano has thymol and carvacrol. The two compounds have powerful anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Therefore, oregano oil has the same effects like an antibiotic. And the good news is, it has no side effects. It does not cause antibiotic resistance or destroy the good bacteria in your body. You can talk to your healthcare provider to take oregano oil internally. It can antibacterial activity against streptococcus, the main bacteria causing lymphangitis. Take it for a maximum of two weeks to get the desired effects.
Garlic has allicin that is highly effective against killing microorganisms. It also has anti-fungal and antiviral properties that can eliminate the infection from the body. It is ideal to overcome the lymphangitis that is not caused by bacteria. Garlic is the natural antibiotic that can help you clear infections in your body. It also has therapeutic effects. So, garlic can have improved effects of antibiotics.
When your body is fighting infection, you need to eat food that can promote healing. Eating inflammatory food can trigger more issues. It can make your symptoms worse leading to other complication. So, avoid the following food to avoid worsening of lymphangitis:
- Processed Food
- Sugary Food
- Trans fats
The inflammation food can worsen the pain and swelling. Therefore, including anti-inflammatory food can reduce the pain and swelling. It will boost your immune system leading to quick healing.
Hence, include food items like:
- Green leafy vegetables
- Nuts and Seeds
- Coconut oil
Spices like turmeric, ginger, and garlic can help with your healing.
Drinking fluids are good for your body. It will help you get rid of the bacterial infection. So, drink 8 to 10 glasses of water. It will flush the toxins out from the body. You can also drink coconut water or drink herbal tea to get rid of the bacteria from your body.
Accumulation of toxins inside the body results in lymphangitis. The external skin infection can also lead to the problems. Acupuncture is regarded as the alternative therapy that can clear the toxic buildup in our body. It also clears the heat in your body. By undergoing acupuncture, you can improve the blood circulation. The enhanced blow flow results in the removal of bacteria from your body.
Antibacterial Essential Oils
Using antibacterial oils like thyme oil and tea tree oil can prevent any infection from affecting you. You can just apply it to the affected area. The antibacterial activity can help alleviate the issue. So, you can apply the oil twice a day. But, take care as your skin is sensitive. At times it can cause irritation. In such cases, discontinue the application.
Clean The Wounds And Cuts Properly
The bacteria causing lymphangitis can enter through the skin cut or wound opening. So, you need to clean the wound properly. Irrespective of the size of the wound, take time to clean it. The opening in the skin can lead to infection. Therefore, take the necessary precautions.
Complications Of Lymphangitis
Lymphangitis is a life-threatening condition that you should never ignore. So, you need to visit the hospital immediately if you see the following symptoms:
- Growing red streaks
- Oozing of pus or fluid from the infected lymph node
- Redness or pain at the infected site
- High fever for more than two days
Ignoring the symptoms is risky. Never think that the problem will go away on its own. If you do not give it the importance it deserves, it can cause severe complications. Lymphangitis can spread quickly by entering your bloodstream. Subsequently, it leads to other complications like:
- The presence of bacteria in your blood known as bacteremia
- Cellulitis (a type of skin infection)
- The life-threatening body-wide infection called as sepsis
- Collection of pus that causes inflammation, swelling, and immense pain (Abscess)
Bacteria entering your bloodstream is a severe condition. So, take the right step and visit your doctor. It will help you manage the issue before getting complicated.
Precautions To Prevent Lymphangitis
Lymphangitis is a severe condition due to its ability to spread quickly. So, you need to take precaution to prevent it from becoming fatal. You can follow the steps to manage the issue.
- Clean the wound site properly to prevent infection
- See the doctor immediately if you suspect lymphangitis
- Take the antibiotics prescribed by the doctor. Never miss the dose.
- Natural remedies can help you ease the symptoms. But, do it under the guidance of your healthcare provider.
With the right steps, you can avoid complications and make full recovery. Depending on the condition, you can heal within days, weeks or months. You can minimize the swelling and pain with the right medication and care. So, do not ignore the issue.
Lymphangitis can spread quickly. Therefore, you need immediate treatment to avoid complications. Seeing the doctor right away can eliminate the risk associated with the disease. With the proper care, you can overcome the issue. So, listen to your body. Take appropriate steps to alleviate disease and lead a happy life.
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