What is Cellulitis and Stasis Dermatitis?

What is cellulitis and stasis dermatitis?

Cellulitis is a common bacterial skin infection. It usually affects the skins on the lower legs, but also may appear on the face, arms and other areas in your body. Any crack or break may lead to bacterial infections. Without proper treatment, the bacteria may spread to lymph nodes and bloodstream, which would threaten your life.

Stasis dermatitis is skin inflammation commonly seen for people with poor blood circulation. It most often appears on the lower legs where blood typically collects. Patients with stasis dermatitis generally suffer from swollen legs and feet, open sores or reddish skin.


Though cellulitis and stasis dermatitis both commonly seen on the lower legs, they do have different symptoms.

  • Cellulitis – reddish skin that tends to expand, swelling, feeling pain, red spots, and blisters, skin dumpling. Fever, warmth, tenderness
  • Stasis dermatitis – itching, scaling, ulcers, skin discoloration, swollen legs and feet, calf pain, calf tenderness, feeling ache or heaviness in your legs that gets worse when you stand up


Cellulitis is generally caused by bacteria such as streptococcus and staphylococcus entering the crack or break of your skin. For stasis dermatitis, poor circulation is the fundamental cause. Varicose veins and congestive heart failure are also reasons for stasis dermatitis.

Treatment for Cellulitis

  • Rest the area
  • Seek professional advice and use antibiotics
  • Stay in the hospital for surgery in really serious situations

Treatment for Stasis Dermatitis

  • Avoid irritating the skin
  • Avoid standing up and sitting for a long period of time
  • Wear elastic support hose
  • Prop up your feet while sitting
  • Seek professional advice and use skin creams and ointments

Keywords: cellulitis; stasis dermatitis; differences; symptoms; treatment, causes; Q&A

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.