NICE/PHE cellulitis and erysipelas: antimicrobial prescribing


This summary covers an antimicrobial strategy for patients with cellulitis and erysipelas

Cellulitis and erysipelas are skin infections that can be serious. Both infections usually develop when bacteria enter the body through a cut or sore on the skin. Symptoms include redness and swelling that may feel hot and painful and can spread quickly. These infections usually affect the legs but can occur anywhere on the body.

Using antibiotics when they are not needed means they may not work as well in the future. This is a serious health risk so NICE and PHE have written advice about when to offer antibiotics for some common conditions.

This guideline sets out an antimicrobial prescribing strategy for adults, young people, children and babies aged 72 hours and over with cellulitis and erysipelas. It aims to optimise antibiotic use and reduce antibiotic resistance.

This Guidelines for Nurses summary covers:

  • Managing cellulitis and erysipelas
    • treatment
    • advice
    • reassessment
    • referral and seeking specialist advice
  • Choice of antibiotic

This summary includes a helpful algorithm for antimicrobial prescribing and two tables which lay out antibiotic choice and dosage for adults, young people and children.

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