Evidence base: Cellulitis and erysipelas

A summary of the systematic reviews, guidelines, key texts and online resources to help in the management of cellulitis and erysipelas

Cellulitis on the hand of a 65-year-old woman following a cat bite (Photograph: SPL)
Cellulitis on the hand of a 65-year-old woman following a cat bite (Photograph: SPL)

Systematic review

This review was unable to identify the best treatment for cellulitis and erysipelas.


  • CREST. Guidelines on the management of cellulitis in adults. 2005.

Available from: www.gain-ni.org/Library/Guidelines/Management_Cellulitis_Adults.asp

  • The British Lymphology Society. Consensus document on the management of cellulitis in lymphoedema. 2010.

Available from: www.thebls.com/docs/consensus.pdf

Key text

  • Wolff K, Katz SI, Goldsmith LA et al. Fitzpatrick's dermatology in general medicine (seventh edition). McGraw-Hill Medical, 2007.

Chapter 179 covers cellulitis, erysipelas and other soft tissue infections.


This topic is covered in the GP curriculum in statement 15.10 Skin problems


Both of these websites provide advice for patients and doctors on managing lymphoedema, with specific guidelines on cellulitis in lymphoedema.


Contributed by Dr James Powell, specialist registrar in dermatology, Solihull Hospital, Birmingham


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