What causes lower legs to turn red?
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Q:

What causes lower legs to turn red?

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Quick Answer

According to Banner Health, cellulitis and circulation problems, also known as venous insufficiency or venous hypertension, can cause the lower legs to turn red. Circulation problems lead to a variety of conditions that can make all or part of the lower legs turn red, according to the American Diabetes Association.

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Full Answer

Cellulitis is an infection of the deep level of skin, fat and tissue just under the skin, according to Patient UK. It is caused by bacterial and fungal infections. It may begin as athlete's foot or a bacterial infection that enters the skin through a scratch or abrasion and progresses up the leg, according to Patient UK, causing the lower leg to become warm, swollen and red.

Circulation problems also lead to bacterial and fungal infections as well as stasis dermatitis, according to the American Diabetes Association. Stasis dermatitis is also known as venous stasis dermatitis because it is associated with problems in the veins of the lower legs, states the National Eczema Association, which cause the pooling of blood in the veins that makes the skin appear red, according to Healthline.

Venous insufficiency, according to Banner Health, can be caused by a blockage in the vein due to a tumor or blood clot, a problem with the valves in the veins and muscle pump failure due to inactivity, aging, arthritis, a sedentary lifestyle or spending long periods of time standing.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What does "venous insufficiency" mean, and can it be cured?

    A:

    Venous insufficiency is a condition in which the blood veins in the legs have difficulty sending blood back up to the heart, according to MedlinePlus. If treatment is started in the early stages of the disease, venous insufficiency can be managed. With self-care, patients can keep the condition from worsening.

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  • Q:

    What is a venous insufficiency treatment?

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    Treatment for venous insufficiency includes elevating the legs, wearing compression stockings, keeping legs uncrossed when sitting and exercising to relieve pressure in the veins of the legs; sclerotherapy, in which the veins are blocked by injecting a chemical that scars the veins; and surgery, according to Johns Hopkins. Treatment depends on such factors as age, extent of the disease, symptoms, tolerance for the treatment and personal preference.

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  • Q:

    Is there an average healing time for cellulitis in the lower leg?

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    In most cases, cellulitis in the lower extremities should disappear within seven to 10 days after starting treatment with antibiotics. People who suffer from pre-existing medical conditions such as an impaired immune system, chronic disease, or high blood pressure, may require a longer healing time with hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics

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  • Q:

    Can a hematoma with unbroken skin in the lower leg cause septicemia?

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    A hematoma on the lower leg can result in a localized infection, or cellulitis, if the area is swollen or there is even a tiny break in the skin, Mayo Clinic says. The infection can spread to the bloodstream, causing sepsis. The terms "sepsis" and "septicemia" are interchangeable, notes MedicineNet.

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