Top 22 Science-Backed Home Remedies For Cellulitis On Face & Body In Adults & Children

Cellulitis is considered the most popular but potential type of skin infection of the deeper layers and the subcutaneous tissues of the skin. Nowadays, there are a lot of medical treatments that actually work. Treatment of cellulitis is using antibiotics such as amoxicillin, cephalexin, or cloxacillin taken by mouth. However, these therapies do not have effects for a long time, even lead to serious side effects. It would be better for you to apply the home remedies first to treat the condition and prevent flare-ups. Today’s article will introduce you the top science-backed home remedies for cellulitis on face and body in adults and children.

There is no science-based evidence for the following homemade recipes. The recipes we've focused on are traditional home remedies, so always consult your doctor and check out your health condition regularly to know if a remedy is working for you.

Medically reviewed by Sarah Brewer, MSc, MA (Cantab), MB, BChir, RNutr, MBANT, CNHC:

22 Science-Backed Home Remedies For Cellulitis On Face & Body In Adults & Children

I. Facts About Cellulitis

Cellulitis is a bacterial infection that is caused by staphylococcus aureus or streptococcus bacteria. Generally, the bacteria on the skin do not cause harm; however; if they can penetrate deep into the skin, they will cause infection. In some cases, cellulitis happens on the areas where the skin has broken open including a cut, insect bite, scrape, ulcer, surgical wound, or burn, or where the skin areas suffer from eczema, fungal infection, or psoriasis.

Otherwise, cellulitis can be caused by some factors such as a weakened immune system, shingles, chicken pox, obesity, diabetes, lymphedema, blood circulation problems, and drug misuse. All of these can lead to the risk of developing this illness.

Cellulitis appears as a swollen and red skin rash (often on the lower arms or legs) that makes you feel tender, hot, or painful. It can spread quickly in 24 hours. Cellulitis might affect any part of the body; however; it commonly affects the head or extremities.

For perianal cellulitis, it principally appears in children. For facial cellulitis, it happens with adults under the age of 45 and under three years old with children. In general, there are 24.6 cases per 1,000 people every year.

Most cases of cellulitis can be able to resolve within a few days or weeks, but sometimes, the progress can be more serious or have other dangerous problems. Cellulitis can be possibly fatal. Thus, it is extremely important to get a proper diagnosis and treatment to prevent the flare-ups of cellulitis.

II. Home Remedies For Cellulitis

1. Tea Tree Oil

Why: 

Tea tree oil, also known as Melaleuca oil, is well known for the potential antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, it is used widely in cosmetics and for the therapy of skin infections. Many scientific papers have proven that tea tree oil is effective against oral candidiasis and Staphylococcus, the kind of bacteria is generally responsible for cellulitis infection[1]. Besides, the anti-inflammatory property may help to reduce redness and swelling in the affected areas[2].

What you need:

– 2-3 drops of tea tree essential oil

– A tablespoon of coconut oil (or a teaspoon of aloe vera gel or raw honey)

– A cotton pad

How to do:

– You can only use tea tree essential oil on the affected area.  Moisturize the cotton pad with water, and then put 2-3 drops of tea tree essential oil on it. Gently dab on the affected areas. Keep it on for a few hours, and then wash it off with water.

– Another way: Mix well tea tree oil with a tablespoon of coconut oil (or a teaspoon of aloe vera gel or honey). Slightly apply this mixture to the site of the infection. Leave it on for about 2-3 hours, and then rinse it off with water.

You should use this twice a day, preferably in the morning and evening.

Notes: In some cases, tea tree oil can lead to skin irritation, including burning redness, stinging, itching, or inflammation in the application area, especially the dry or broken skin areas.

2. Coconut Oil

Why:

Coconut oil has powerful anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties thanks to the presence of medium-chain fatty acids[3] [4], especially lauric acid that can help to fight both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria relating to skin infections. Coconut oil also can moisturize your skin and has healing properties. Therefore, it not only has effects on treating cellulitis but also prevents it from recurrence.

What you need:

– 1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil

How to do:

– Apply the oil to the affected areas and gently massage.

– Leave it on the skin for a few hours to allow it to be absorbed completely

– Rinse it off with water

You should repeat it at least twice daily to get the best results.

Notes: Coconut oil can cause some of the allergic reactions for those who are sensitive skin such as rashes, hives, or eczema.

3. Turmeric

Why:

Turmeric possesses excellent natural antiseptic and antibiotic properties to treat and prevent cellulitis. The active ingredient, curcumin, including in turmeric also provides the anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial benefits[5] [6]. As a result, turmeric is used for some dermatological applications such as acne, psoriasis, keloids, and wound healing because it can block the molecular pathways, leading to these diseases.

What you need:

– A teaspoon of turmeric powder

– A tablespoon of honey

– 2-3 drops of tea tree oil

– 1-2 teaspoon of bentonite clay

How to do:

– Mix well the turmeric, honey, tea tree oil, and bentonite clay in a bowl to get a fine paste.

– Use this blend for your affected areas.

– After 20 minutes, wash it off with warm water.

– You can also drink the mixture of turmeric powder and milk once or twice a day until the infections removed.

Note: Turmeric should not be used for the medical purposes if you have problems with gallbladder as it can aggravate the problem, are taking diabetes drugs, or suffer from blood clotting disorders.

4. Calendula

Why:

Calendula is considered an amazing soothing herb for the inflamed and tender skin and fight infection. The water decoction of calendula flower is applied traditionally to prevent various skin problems caused by bacteria. The water-soluble extracted from calendula gets the highest inhibitory activity against a number of bacteria, particularly Staphylococcus[7] [8]. Therefore, it can help to increase the blood flow to the affected skin areas and stimulate collagen production, which promotes wound healing.

What you need:

– 2 teaspoons of calendula flowers

– A cup of hot water

– A clean piece of cloth

How to do:

– Steep the calendula in hot water for about 10 minutes

– Soak the cloth into this infusion and use it for your skin

– Wait for about 20 minutes to allow the skin to absorb completely

You should repeat this 3- 4 times per day for several weeks.

Warnings: 

Calendula is generally safe to use, but you have to be careful when applying it with other herbs, medications, and supplements as it can interact with each other. Especially, it might interact with blood pressure drugs. Therefore, remember to consult your health professional before using it. Moreover, calendula can lead to a skin rash for those who are sensitive to plants in the aster species such as chrysanthemums, daisies, and ragweed. What’s more, do not use calendula during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

5. Oil Of Oregano

Why:

Oil of oregano, nature’s antibiotic, is well known as an excellent home remedy for cellulitis. Terpinene is the main active constituent of oregano oil. It includes phenolic compounds such as thymol and carvacrol with the amazing antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties that may get rid of the staph bacteria[9].

A research published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology demonstrated that the application of ointment with 3 percent of oregano helped to reduce bacterial contamination and subsequent infection in sufferers with the surgical wounds[10]. In addition, there are a lot of studies that show the large range antimicrobial activity of oregano oil against several bacteria, especially Staphylococcus that is responsible for cellulitis.

What you need:

– 3-4 drops of oregano essential oil

– A tablespoon of carrier oil (olive, jojoba or coconut oil)

How to do:

– Dilute oregano essential oil with a carrier oil of your selection. Apply this mixture to the affected skin areas, and leave it on for about 4 hours. Rinse it off with lukewarm water. You should follow this 2-3 times per day.

– Besides, you can take oregano internally. Mix 3 drops of oregano oil with a tablespoon of coconut oil. You can add a teaspoon of honey. Drink this blend 5 times a day for 3- 4 days. Then, apply it 3 times daily for 7- 10 days.  Or, you can mix 5 drops of oregano oil in a glass of fruit juice or water. Drink this 3- 5 times a day for several days, and then reduce the dosage to 3 drops of oil of oregano and continue drinking for 10 days.

 Note: You do not use the full-strength oregano oil on the broken skin. The gathering of oil of oregano for topical use should be below 1% as it can make the mucous membranes irritated. Moreover, pregnant women also have to avoid taking this oil because it can induce labor and stimulate the uterus.

6. Manuka Honey

Why: 

Manuka honey, a native product of New Zealand, is popular for its natural antibacterial and healing properties[11]. It is known for being rich in phytochemicals like methylglyoxal (MG) that are powerful in controlling staph infections. Moreover, the active compounds in it can inhibit the antibiotic-resistant the methicillin-resistant S. aureus. Also, manuka honey can help to speed up the wound healing and is a truly strong anti-inflammatory benefit. Apart from that, it is one of the most useful natural treatments for dry skin.

What you need:

– Manuka honey

How to do:

– Spread the manuka honey directly on the affected skin areas

–  Leave it on for about 2 hours before cleaning it off with warm water

– Follow this remedy 2- 3 times daily until you see the improvement

Note: You can buy Manuka honey from the local pharmacy or online. Manuka honey is evaluated by a factor named the UMF (Unique manuka factor). The UMF level corresponds to its methylglyoxal (MG) content. It is the best for you to buy manuka honey with a minimum UMF of 10. Remember to check for the UMF manuka, honey. If you cannot find the right manuka honey, you can use raw organic honey. It still works well.

7. Fenugreek Seeds

Why:

Fenugreek seeds are rich in flavonoids that can use externally on the skin to reduce the infection and inflammation due to its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties[12]. Fenugreek seeds contain a high content of protein and saponin. Moreover, it also includes polyphenols that take charge of the therapeutic properties. Fenugreek is commonly used in folk medicine to prevent cellulitis.

What you need:

– A handful of fenugreek seed

– A bowl of warm water

How to do:

– Soak fenugreek seed in the warm water overnight

– In the next morning, grind them with a little water to get a fine paste

– Apply it directly to the affected skin areas

– Leave it on for about two hours before washing it off with lukewarm water

You should repeat this at least once daily until you see the symptoms to be improved.

Warnings:

Both the fenugreek seeds and leaves are believed to be very safe to apply. However, you should avoid using this herb if you have anemia or suffer from iron deficiency. Besides, those who are allergic to the pea family should not use it.

8. Garlic

Why: 

Another natural antibiotic against infections is garlic. The main constituent of garlic is allicin that is famous for its strong antimicrobial benefit[13]. The antimicrobial agents of garlic can help to decrease inflammation and prevent further infection. Besides, the anti-inflammatory benefits have effects on reducing swelling and pain associated with cellulitis[14].

A study demonstrated that the antibacterial properties in raw garlic could protect against both gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria, especially Staphylococcus one that is commonly responsible for cellulitis[15].

What you need:

– 2-3 cloves of garlic

How to do: 

– Mince the garlic to have a thick paste. Use it directly for the infected site. Leave it on for about two hours. Wash it off with lukewarm water

– You also can do like this: Fry crushed garlic in coconut oil, cool and then strain the oil. Apply this oil to the affected areas. Keep it on for a few hours, and then clean it off with warm water.

– Besides, you can eat 3-4 cloves of raw garlic daily for some weeks. If you are worried about its strong smell and taste, drink a glass of milk afterward.

Note: This therapy is not suitable for people with sensitive skin.

9. Echinacea

Why:

Echinacea is one of the most effective home remedies for cellulitis because it can boost the immune system. Echinacea extract is rich in alkamides, caffeic acid, and polysaccharides compounds that are in charge of many therapeutic properties. Moreover, it contains flavonoids with antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-allergic, and anti-inflammatory properties[16] [17].

You can apply Echinacea internally or topically to the affected area in the form of cream or gel to treat the inflammation and irritation. Remember to consult your professional doctor before using this herb for the proper dosage.

Note: Echinacea is not used for patients who suffer from autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis tuberculosis, or leukemia.

10. Activated Charcoal

Why: 

Activated charcoal may help remove the chemical impurities and toxins that contribute to skin infection and inflammation[18]. It also contains the excellent power to absorb a variety of toxic agents and drugs that are in direct contact and solution form with its surface.

What you need:

– A tablespoon of activated charcoal powder

– A tablespoon of ground flaxseed powder

– Water

How to do: 

– Mix the activated charcoal, flaxseed with enough water to get a paste

– Spread it on a paper towel, and then cover it with another paper one

– Place this on the affected areas

– Leave it on for a couple of hours or even overnight

You should use this recipe for some days.

Note: If the infection develops and you have some symptoms such as chills, fever, swollen lymph nodes, fatigue, or rapid breathing, contact your doctor immediately.

11. Hot Or Cold Compress

Why: 

A cold or hot compress can help to provide instant relief from the signs of cellulitis. While a hot compress has an effect on reducing the pain, a cold one may reduce the inflammation[19] [20].

What you need:

– Hot water or ice pack

How to do: 

– Apply directly a hot water bottle or an ice pack to the affected areas.

– Keep it on for about 15 minutes. Repeat twice.

You must follow this 2- 3 times per day.

Side effects: Some side effects such as warmth, redness, burning, or stinging on the application areas can occur.

12. Epsom Salt

Why:

Epsom salt is well known for its magnesium content. This property may help decrease swelling, pain, and inflammation caused by cellulitis[21] [22].

What you need:

– A cup of Epsom salt

– Bathwater

How to do: 

– Add the Epsom salt to your bathwater and soak in for about 20 minutes. You should follow this every day for the best results.

Warnings: Although Epsom salt is quite safe, it still has a few side effects that can happen if you use it wrongly. It can cause some signs of allergies, including hives, swelling on your lips, face, tongue, or throat.

13.Apple Cider Vinegar

Why: 

Apple cider vinegar contains the antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that may help combat the inflammation caused by cellulitis and avoid the bacterial infection[23] [24].

What you need:

– 1-2 cups of apple cider vinegar

– Bathwater

How to do:

– Add the ACV to the bathwater and soak in it for about 20 minutes.

– Besides, you can dilute the apple cider vinegar with enough amount and then apply it directly to the affected areas.

You should do this once a day.

Side effects: Apple cider vinegar has a high content of citric acid that is naturally found in lemon. Thus, the citric acid can bring in rashes on the application skin areas if you use directly on the skin. It can also cause mild burning and reddening of that part.

14. Vitamins

Why: 

You can supply with vitamins E and C as an alternative remedy for cellulitis. The intake of vitamins E and C can help to promote healing and improve the condition of the affected skin areas. While vitamin C enhances your immunity, vitamin E boosts your overall health and the healing of the skin[25] [26].

What you need:

– 1000 mg vitamin C

– 400-899 IU vitamin E

How to do: 

– You only need to consume this amount of these vitamins daily.

Note: You should consume the dosage of vitamin E once a day and vitamin C twice daily.

15. Ginkgo Biloba

Why: 

Ginkgo biloba is considered as a maidenhair tree. It comes with the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits that may help to fight cellulitis naturally[27] [28]. Moreover, ginkgo biloba can boost your metabolism and make better your blood circulation, which accelerates your recovery.

What you need:

– 1-2 teaspoons of ginkgo biloba herb

– A cup of water

– Honey (optional)

How to do:

– Put two teaspoons of ginkgo biloba to a cup of water, and then boil it in a saucepan.

– Steep for about 5 minutes and strain

– Add a little honey to it

– Consume this tea before it gets cold

You should drink the ginkgo biloba three times daily.

Warnings: People who are sensitive to poison ivy and other plants including alkylphenols, should absolutely avoid applying ginkgo. Besides, those with blood circulation disorders can experience the undesirable effects after using ginkgo.

16. Dandelion

Why: 

Beyond its impression of this flower in many stories, dandelion is commonly used as one of the best home remedies for cellulitis due to its antioxidant properties. These antioxidants of dandelion leaves can stop the destruction of radicals in the body. Besides, the antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activities in it may contribute to your cellulitis recovery[29] [30]. Furthermore, it provides a large amount of vitamin C, which is an important natural therapy for cellulitis.

What you need:

– 2 teaspoons of dandelion herb

– A cup of hot water

– Honey (optional)

How to do: 

– Steep dandelion herb in a cup of hot water for about 10 minutes, and then strain it. Add a little honey if you like. Consume this tea before it gets cold. Follow this three times a day.

– Another way: Grind the dandelion leaves and mix it with enough amount of water to get a thick paste. Dab this paste directly on the affected areas. Keep it on for some hours, and then cleanse it off with water.

Notes: Dandelion can cause allergies such as the runny nose, irritation, or watery eyes. Moreover, patients with gallbladder or liver problems need to ask the physician before applying preparations.

17. Grapefruit Seed Extract

Why: 

Grapefruit seed extract (GSE) possesses the antimicrobial benefits that may fight against a large range of pathogens[31]. It can help to eliminate the staph bacteria that are responsible for cellulitis. In addition, the GSE contains the anti-inflammatory benefit and help to reduce inflammation and pain[32].

What you need: 

– 5- 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract

– 5 ounces of water

How to do: 

– Mix well the grapefruit seed extract and the water

– Drink it three times daily for the best improvement

Notes: You should ask your physician what ingredients contain before applying the products to avoid the allergic reaction. Besides, do not directly contact between the extract and use it for your eyes.

18. Yogurt

Why: 

Yogurt is well known as a natural source of probiotics. It can help to increase the number of good bacteria in the body to combat cellulitis. Besides, it contains the anti-inflammatory activities that may contribute to reducing the pain and swelling in the affected areas[33].

What you need:

– 1 bowl of plain yogurt

How to do: 

– You can consume the yogurt directly

– You can also use yogurt for the affected skin areas

Note: Yogurt does not lead to any significant side effects.

19. Thyme

Why: 

Including the antibacterial quality, thyme is famous for its capacity to take control of the growth of the bacteria[34]. However, it is quite toxic and strong, you need to carefully ask your doctor before applying it.

How to do: 

Taking 1-2 mg per day of thyme is the proper amount for you (remember to check your condition before using it)

Note: Thyme is forbidden for those who are taking blood-thinning drugs.

20. Sweet Clover

Why: 

Sweet clover is a popular herb to treat many skin diseases[35]. Including a lot of nutrients that can help to speed up your recovery and thin blood, sweet clover is one of the amazing natural treatments for cellulitis infection.

What you need:

– 2 teaspoons of sweet clover

– Hot water

How to do: 

– Mix sweet clover with enough amount of hot water

– Boil this for about 10 minutes

– Let it cool naturally and drink it.

You should repeat this tea 2-3 times daily until you see an improvement.

Side effects: 

Sweet clover is very safe to use in the good amounts. Nevertheless, this herb can lead to the liver or bleeding problems. Moreover, the pregnant women and lactation ones should avoid using it. Especially, do not use it for at least two weeks before and after the surgery.

21. Goldenseal

Why: 

Goldenseal originates from North America and has been used as an important part of a lot of popular medical and beauty products here. Goldenseal possesses the anti-inflammatory property that can contribute effectively to the cellulitis recovery. Besides, an alkaloid present in goldenseal may help to fight the bacteria[36].

What you need:

– 3-4 teaspoons of goldenseal powder

– Clean water

How to do: 

– Mix well the powdered goldenseal with enough amount of water to get a thick paste

– Dab this paste directly on the inflamed areas

– Keep it on for about 4-5 hours to allow the nutrients to absorb completely into the skin

– Cleanse it off with warm water

Side effects: Do not use it for pregnant women. Besides, there are some signs such as hives, rashes, wheezing, itching, even breathing problems, tightness in the chest, swelling in the throat, face, or mouth.

22. Neem

Why: 

Neem is originated from the Meliaceae family, which has a number of medicinal applications, particularly in the treatment of wounds and insect bites, one of the causes of cellulitis[37].

How to do: 

– You can consume the juice from the neem leaves

– Or, you can use the neem oil for the affected skin areas to eliminate the bacteria causing cellulitis

– Besides, you can dilute the neem oil with water and use to rinse your skin

Warnings: Neem oil is very safe but potent, therefore; it might lead to some adverse reactions for those who suffer from eczema or have sensitive skin. Remember to dilute it before using and not apply it for children.

III. Advice After Treated

Along with applying the effective home remedies to treat the cellulitis infection, it is also important for you to have a healthy diet and nutrition to contribute to the cellulitis recovery. Applying a well-balanced diet ensures that the immune system can fight bacterial infections like cellulitis. The followings are some kinds of food that you should take and avoid when suffering from cellulitis.

Food to eat:

  •  Food that is rich in vitamin C and proteins plays an important role in repairing the damaged tissues in the body, boosting the immune system, and lowering the risk of developing other types of infection. They include grapefruit, oranges, strawberries, tomatoes, kiwi, cantaloupe, and citrus fruits.
  •  Vegetables like red and green like bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, baked potatoes, cabbage, winter squash, and sweet potatoes.
  •  Sunflower seeds, peanuts, almonds, pine nuts, and hazelnuts. Besides, nut butter such as peanuts and almond butter contains a rich amount of vitamin E.
  •  Yogurt can remove the bacteria.
  •  Garlic is an excellent antibacterial agent
  • Consume an adequate amount of water every day to flush out the harmful organisms and toxins from the body.
  •  Yoga and exercise

Food to avoid:

  •  Cheese, processed meats, butter, and margarine
  •  Sweet and sugary foods

IV. Frequently Asked/Unasked Questions

1. Which skin parts of the body are commonly affected by cellulitis?

In spite of affecting any areas of the body, cellulitis can affect mostly on the lower legs, and also the damaged skin areas.

2. How long does it take to treat cellulitis?

If you have a proper treatment, cellulitis can go away in just 3 days. However, if your cellulitis symptoms get worse, it can take 7- 10 days or even longer to treat it.

3. What is the most effective cream for cellulitis?

A good antiseptic or anti-itch cream can contribute to treating cellulitis. Nevertheless, you have to apply the cream slightly and remember not to rub it on the skin because it might aggravate the condition. For mild cases, the doctor can give you a tetracycline agent such as doxycycline.

4. What is the first symptom of the cellulitis infection?

Cellulitis begins as a painful and small area usually near the wounds or ulcers. When the infection spreads to the surrounding areas, some signs such as swelling, redness, and warmth manifest. Besides, blisters, skin tenderness, fever, dimpling, or red spots are also considered as the signs of cellulitis. These symptoms might either appear suddenly or manifest gradually.

5. Can cellulitis affect the genital area?

Yes. Sometimes, cellulitis can also occur on the genital area such as the penis or scrotum. It is typically brought on by the Staphylococcus or Streptococcus bacteria, and by a gram-negative species like Pseudomonas.

V. How- To Tips

To help to prevent cellulitis and other skin infections, you can take the following precautions to avoid the recurrence:

  •  Wash gently your wound daily with antiseptic soap and clean water
  •  Use an antiseptic cream or ointment
  •  Cover the wound with a bandage. And remember to change the bandages at least daily
  •  Watch for symptoms of the infection such as pain, redness, and drainage
  •  Observe your feet every day for symptoms of injury to catch the infection early
  •  Keep your skin moisturized regularly to prevent peeling and cracking
  •  Tidy your fingernails and toenails carefully
  •  Wear the protective equipment while playing and working
  •  Avoid sharing the personal belongings, razor, bedding, and clothing
  •  Get your athlete’s foot treated to protect the skin from the bacterial infection
  •  Visit your physician immediately if you see the signs are getting worse including the wounds enlarge, pain, puss, swelling, chest pain, and problems in breathing.

We have given some useful information about cellulitis, along with some effective home remedies to treat it. All content provided is for informational and educational purposes. We recommend you consult a healthcare professional to determine which method is appropriate for you. If you know other home remedies for cellulitis, don’t forget to let us know.

    Advertisements by Google