Healthcare Cost

How Much Does it Cost to Treat Cellulitis Without Insurance in 2022?

Erica Kahn
Erica Kahn25 Aug 2022

The cost to treat cellulitis ranges from $90 to $329 without insurance. Mild cases of cellulitis often only require the cost of a doctor’s visit for a physical exam and a prescription for an oral antibiotic. More severe or complicated-to-diagnose cases can increase the cost to treat cellulitis with services including blood tests, hospital stays, and intravenous (IV) antibiotic injections. 

Mild Cellulitis Treatment Options at Different Pharmacies

Below is a breakdown comparing the costs of different oral antibiotics used to treat cellulitis at different pharmacies. A dosage of 500 mg for varying durations was a common prescription order for mild cellulitis cases for each antibiotic. Clarithromycin is suggested for those with a penicillin allergy.

The costs were researched using MiraRx, an online tool that allows members to search for the best deals on prescriptions in their area. These prices are pulled from pharmacy chains located in the New York City area. 

The Cost of Oral Antibiotics for Cellulitis at Big Chain Pharmacies

Location 

Dicloxacillin Cost 

Cephalexin Cost

Penicillin VK Cost

Clarithromycin Cost

Dosage & Duration

28 capsules 

500 mg 

(7 days, 4x)

28 tablets 

500 mg (7-14 days, 2x)

28 tablets 

500 mg 

(7 days, 4x)

28 tablets

500 mg 

(7-14 days, 2x)

Target

$30.64

$42.11

$14.66

$32.46

CVS

$30.64

$42.11

$14.66

$32.46

Walgreens

$32.65

$49.60

$9.99

$46.42

Rite Aid

$34.05

$43.27

$11.63

$21.78

The Cost of Oral Antibiotics for Cellulitis at Local NYC Pharmacies

Location 

Dicloxacillin Cost 

Cephalexin Cost

Penicillin VK Cost

Clarithromycin Cost

Dosage & Duration

28 capsules 

500 mg 

(7 days, 4x)

28 tablets 

500 mg (7-14 days, 2x)

28 tablets 

500 mg 

(7 days, 4x)

28 tablets

500 mg 

(7-14 days, 2x)

Wegman’s Pharmacy

$28.70

$38.98

$7.54

$19.82

Shoprite Pharmacy

$28.70

$39.86

$8.92

$19.82

Forever Health Pharmacy

$28.70

$39.86

$8.92

$19.82

Bayard L.C. Pharmacy

$28.70

$39.86

$8.92

$19.82

Additional Costs to Treat Cellulitis

For mild cases of cellulitis, the cost to treat the infection will most likely include:

  • A doctor’s visit: Your primary care doctor or an urgent care visit can often diagnose the infection without any tests.
  • Oral antibiotics: There are many different oral antibiotics used to treat cellulitis. What is available, symptoms, medical history, and type of bacteria can influence the kind of antibiotic prescribed. 

Severe cases of cellulitis may not respond to oral antibiotics. Severe cases of cellulitis can be fatal but are uncommon. For more severe or complicated cases of cellulitis, additional services necessary to treat it may include:  

  • Additional Testing: A blood test, skin test, and/or bacterial culture may be used to check if the infection has spread to the blood and identify the type of bacteria responsible for the infection.
  • Hospitalization: Serious infections need to be treated with IV fluids and hospital stays can last 4 to 11 days
Health Image

Get Mira - Health Benefits You Can Afford.

Get doctor visits, lab tests, prescription, and more. Affordable copays. Available in 45+ states. Only $45/month on average.

Additional Costs

ServicesCost without insurance
Doctor’s Visit $80 - $280
Additional Testing $50
Hospitalization for severe cellulitisAverage cost of $2,087 per day (including treatment, room, and board)

Cellulitis Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

With over 14 million US cellulitis cases a year, and an increased risk of cellulitis during summer months, it is important to know how to prevent, recognize, and treat a cellulitis infection. Below we answer some questions you may have regarding cellulitis treatment.  

What is cellulitis and how can I reduce my risk of getting infected? 

Cellulitis is a common bacterial infection and affects your skin and skin tissue. It often occurs around damaged skin, open wounds, and areas of the skin with poor hygiene. To prevent cellulitis, clean wounds and sores with antibacterial soap and water, cover wounds with a bandage and refrain from touching or rubbing your affected areas.   

What are the first symptoms of cellulitis? 

The first signs of cellulitis include:

  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Warmth
  • Discoloration that looks like a rash
  • Fluid-filled blisters
  • Skin surface looks lumpy
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
Health Image

Virtual care for only $25 per visit

Virtual primary care, urgent care, and behavioral health visits are only $25 with a Mira membership.

What helps relieve symptoms of cellulitis?

To relieve symptoms of cellulitis, elevate the affected part of the body, place a cool damp cloth on the affected area as needed, and ask your healthcare provider to suggest a nonprescription pain medication or if it would be beneficial to wear compression wraps around the affected area.

When should I go to the hospital for cellulitis?

There are approximately 650,000 hospitalizations for cellulitis in the US annually. You may need to be hospitalized and receive IV fluids if your symptoms do not respond to oral antibiotics, symptoms are extensive, and you have a high fever

Bottom Line 

The cost to treat cellulitis varies widely depending on the antibiotic prescribed and where you receive your diagnosis. Cellulitis is common, but you can prevent it by maintaining good hygiene and treating sores and wounds when they occur. Ask your doctor about which oral antibiotic treatment is right for you.  

For just $45 per month, Mira can offer up to 80 percent discounted prices on over 1,000 prescription medications, low-cost urgent care visits, and affordable lab testing. 

Erica Kahn

Erica graduated from Emory University in Atlanta with a BS in environmental science and a minor in English and is on track to graduate with her Master's in Public Health. She is passionate about health equity, women's health, and how the environment impacts public health.