Infectious Diseases Society of America

View all recommendations from this society

Released February 23, 2015

Don’t use antibiotic therapy for stasis dermatitis of lower extremities.

Stasis dermatitis is commonly treated with antibiotic therapy, which may be a result of misdiagnosis or lack of awareness of the pathophysiology of the disease. The standard of care for the treatment of stasis dermatitis affecting lower extremities is a combination of leg elevation and compression. Elevation of the affected area accelerates improvements by promoting gravity drainage of edema and inflammatory substances. The routine use of oral antibiotics does not improve healing rates and may result in unnecessary hospitalization, increased health care costs and potential for patient harm.

These items are provided solely for informational purposes and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their physician.

How The List Was Created

The Infectious Diseases Society of America’s (IDSA) Quality Improvement Committee (QIC) directed the development of IDSA’s Choosing Wisely®list of Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question. The Committee identified a preliminary list of inappropriate and overused clinical practices. A list of five items was drafted and then vetted by the QIC and revisions were made according to a workgroup consensus. The finalized list was then submitted for approval to the IDSA Board of Directors.

IDSA’s disclosure and conflict of interest policy can be found at


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