Home
Search in�� ��for��
 
Resources
Career Center
New Hospital Update
Learn More About MCI
Bill Payment
Upcoming Events
Find a Physician
Press Releases
Maps and Directions
Visiting Hours
Medical Services
Specialty Programs and Services
Volunteer Services
H2U
Birthing Center Tours
Clinics
Family Care of Eastern Jackson County
Jackson County Medical Group
Family & Friends
Virtual Body
Virtual Cheercards
Web Babies
Decision Tools
Self-Assessment Tools
Natural and Alternative Treatments Main Index
Health Sources
Cancer InDepth
Heart Care Center
HealthDay News
Wellness Centers
Aging and Health
Alternative Health
Sports and Fitness
Food and Nutrition
Men's Health
Mental Health
Kids' and Teens' Health
Healthy Pregnancy
Medications
Travel and Health
Women's Health
Genus MD
Genus MD
Physician Websites
Legal Disclaimers
Nondiscrimination
Privacy Notice



Send This Page To A Friend
Print This Page

Lymphangitis

Lim-fan-gi-tis

 

Definition

Lymphangitis is an infection of the lymph vessels. Lymph vessels are part of the immune system. They, along with lymph nodes and ducts, help carry infected fluids away from the site of an infection.

Lymphatic Vessels

Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

 

Causes    TOP

Lymphangitis is caused by bacteria.

It usually starts with a bacterial skin infection. When the lymph vessels start to carry fluids away from the infection, the bacteria can move into the lymph vessels and begin to multiply. The growth causes the infection.

 

Risk Factors    TOP

Factors that may increase the chances of lymphangitis include:

  • Injury to the skin
  • Having a bacterial skin infection
 

Symptoms    TOP

Symptoms may include:

  • Redness or red streaks on the skin
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Warmth at the site of the infection
  • Fever or chills
  • Fluids or pus leaking from the affected area
  • Swollen glands
  • Malaise—general feeling of illness
 

Diagnosis    TOP

You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Diagnosis is often made on appearance alone.

Your bodily fluids and tissues may be tested to determine the exact type of bacteria causing the infection. This can be done with:

  • Blood or fluid culture
  • Skin biopsy and cultures
 

Treatment    TOP

Lymphangitis indicates a spread of the infection. Treatment is important to keep the infection from spreading into the blood.

Your doctor may advise medications such as:

  • Antibiotics to treat infection
  • Over-the-counter medications to reduce swelling and pain

Warm compresses may also be advised to reduce swelling and pain.

 

Prevention    TOP

Lymphangitis is usually caused by spread from a skin infection. If you have a skin infection, follow your doctor’s treatment plan.

To reduce your risk of getting a skin infection:

  • Keep your skin clean.
  • Keep your fingernails clipped short and clean.
  • Apply lotion to dry skin.
  • Take steps to avoid injury to the skin:
    • Wear protective gear in sports.
    • Wear long-sleeved shirts when hiking.
    • Wear sandals when at the beach, rather than going barefoot.
    • Be careful around animals. Treat pets with respect to avoid bites.
  • Do not swim in natural waters if you have cuts or sores.
  • If a small cut, bite, or other injury occurs:
    • Clean cuts or scrapes with soap and water.
    • Apply antibiotic ointment.
    • Cover with a bandage or dressing.
    • Do not scratch wounds.
    • Call your doctor right away if the area becomes red or swollen.
  • Seek prompt medical care for larger wounds or bites.
  • If your legs tend to swell, elevate them several times a day.
RESOURCES:

American Academy of Dermatology
https://www.aad.org

Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
https://www.familydoctor.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Canadian Dermatology Association
https://dermatology.ca

Health Canada
https://www.canada.ca

REFERENCES:

Lymphangitis. University of Maryland Medical Center website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Update May 19, 2013. Accessed March 13, 2018.

Lymphangitis. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated August 2017. Accessed March 13, 2018.



Last reviewed March 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Marcie L. Sidman, MD
Last Updated: 2/12/2014

Health References
Health Conditions
Therapeutic Centers


Copyright � 1999-2007
ehc.com; All rights reserved.
Terms & Conditions of Use
Privacy Statement
Medical Center of Independence
17203 E. 23rd St.
Independence,� MO� 64057
Telephone: (816) 478-5000