Richard Hammond health: TV star faced a serious health battle after ‘climbing into water’

Richard Hammond is best known for his thrill-seeking antics alongside Jeremy Clarkson and James May on BBC Two’s Top Gear. His adrenaline-fuelled stunts made for entertaining TV but it did land him in hot water at various points. During filming of a Top Gear segment at the former RAF Elvington airbase near York on 20 September 2006, Hammond was injured in the crash of the jet-powered car he was piloting.

After leaving Top Gear, Hammond began presenting The Grand Tour television series, which provides similar fare.

During the filming of an episode of the show last year, Hammond had another close call.

He contracted the infection cellulitis while filming in South East Asia.

The presenter revealed the foot infection could have quickly turned into life-threatening illness sepsis, had it spread any further.

Hammond caught the infection as he and co-hosts Jeremy Clarkson and James May were travelling from Cambodia to Vietnam for the Amazon Prime Video show.

He explained: “It bloody hurts. It’s one of those on the list of cp conditions I’ve had. I got it from climbing into the water and then I realised my legs were hurting. My feet were very red and it went through my legs.

“You could literally see it tracking up my leg. I’m at a disadvantage because it’s a much shorter journey to my vital organs. That would have been a really c**** way to go,’ he told BANG Showbiz.”

What is cellulitis?

According to the NHS, cellulitis is a skin infection that’s treated with antibiotics. It can be serious if it’s not treated quickly.

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“If not treated quickly, the infection can spread to other parts of the body, such as the blood, muscles and bones,” warns the health body.

A tell-tale sign you have contacted cellulitis is red, hot and painful (it may also be swollen and blistered).

Another symptom is swollen, painful glands.

How is it treated?

Hammond was treated with a “huge” dose of antibiotics in order to prevent the infection from spreading anywhere else.

This is the standard treatment procedure, according to the NHS.

“For mild cellulitis affecting a small area of skin, your GP will prescribe antibiotic tablets – usually for a week,”the health body explains.

Your symptoms might get worse in the first 48 hours of treatment, but should then start to improve, notes the health site.

It adds: “You should go back to the GP if you do not start to feel better two to three days after starting antibiotics.”

According to Mayo Clinic, there are ways to self-medicate while you await your appointment.

The health body recommends placing a cool, damp cloth on the affected area as often as needed for your comfort.

Another key tip is to elevate the affected part of your body, the health body says.

You can also ask your doctor:

  • Whether it might help to wear compression wraps or stockings
  • To suggest an over-the-counter pain medication to treat pain.

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