Lower limb cellulitis and its mimics: part II. Conditions that simulate lower limb cellulitis

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2012 Aug;67(2):177.e1-9; quiz 185-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2012.03.023.


Several common conditions can mimic cellulitis, creating a potential for misdiagnosis and incorrect management. The most common disorders mistaken for lower limb cellulitis include venous eczema, lipodermatosclerosis, irritant dermatitis, and lymphedema. The dermatologist is often consulted when a patient has failed to respond to therapy, and a thorough knowledge of the differential diagnosis is essential. This article focuses on entities that can mimic cellulitis, with an emphasis of elements of the history and physical examination that can help to distinguish between lower limb cellulitis and its simulators.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cellulitis / diagnosis*
  • Dermatitis / diagnosis*
  • Dermatology*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Education, Medical, Continuing
  • Humans
  • Leg*
  • Skin Diseases / diagnosis*