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Necrotizing Fasciitis (cont.)

When to Seek Medical Care

Prompt identification and treatment of necrotizing fasciitis is critical in order to improve the likelihood of a favorable outcome. Because of the rapid progression of this condition, a high index of suspicion and early detection are necessary to initiate emergency treatment immediately. Those individuals with underlying medical problems or a weakened immune system need to be especially vigilant. Consult a health care professional if any of the following symptoms or signs develops:

  • An unexplained area of skin redness, warmth, tenderness or swelling, associated with or without a history of antecedent skin trauma
  • Changes in the color of the skin (dusky, purple, mottled, black) or in the texture of the skin (blisters, open wounds, hardening, crepitus)
  • Drainage from any open wound
  • Fever or chills
  • Intense pain or discomfort of a body area associated with or without prior trauma

If a person has been previously evaluated by a health care professional and there is progression of the above symptoms, or if the person fails to improve (even with antibiotic treatment at home), prompt reevaluation must occur.

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