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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.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/27/2015
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