What Causes Lower Legs to Turn Red?

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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.

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.