Hand cellulitis

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Wrist and hand deeper palmar dissection
  • Remove rings if infections are near the digits

Clinical Features

Hand cellulitis (from cat bite).
Hand cellulitis (from cat bite).
Lymphadenitis extending from hand cellulitis.
  • Erythema, warmth, and edema
  • Range of motion of digits, hand, and wrist should not be painful
    • Pain predicts extensive involvement and the need for inpatient management

Differential Diagnosis

Hand and finger infections




  • Mild/moderate cellulitis
    • TMP-SMX DS 1-2 tab PO x 7-10d + (cephalexin 500mg PO QID x7-10d OR dicloxacillin 500mg PO QID x 7–10d)
  • Severe cellulitis


  • Consider admission for:
    • Immunocompromised
    • Clinical toxicity
    • Evidence of deep-space involvement
    • Rapidly spreading infections

See Also