Skin and Soft Tissue Infections Treatments

Many uncomplicated skin and soft tissue infections can be treated at home. Necrotizing soft tissue infections and MRSA require immediate medical attention.

If treating a small infection (less than a half-inch across) at home:

  • Use warm compresses on the site four times a day for 30 minutes.
  • Don’t stick a needle into the infected site to drain it, as that might accidentally spread the infection into your bloodstream.
  • Don’t squeeze or push on any pimple-like bumps, as that can push the infection deeper into your tissue.
  • Call your physician if:
    • The site gets larger than a half-inch across
    • You have a fever
    • You have an enlarged or sore lymph gland
    • There’s a red streak leading away from the infection site

When skin and soft tissue infections don’t clear up on their own, treatment may include:

  • Antibiotic or antifungal cream
  • Oral antibiotic or antifungal medications
  • IV medications
  • Surgery to drain the infection
  • Surgery to remove dead tissue
  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
  • Surgery to amputate a damaged limb


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