Stasis dermatitis, is known as Stasis Eczema, Varicose Eczema, Gravitational Eczema and Venous Eczema.
It is found on the lower legs.
The affected skin is on and around where any varicose veins are.
It affects around 1% of the population and is common in middle-aged and elderly people, especially women.
Also being overweight or already having varicose veins can increase the chance of suffering from it.
Pregnant women are also prone.
When you have Stasis Dermatitis the rash that appears is usually
The affected patches are very prone to getting infected. This is because there are many small cracks in the skin. An element of very dry skin.
When the rash is infected it can ooze fluids, and crusts form on the top of the skin.
The skin may also be thickened because the itchy skin gets scratched often over a period of time.
Swelling will occur in either one or both legs. If it is severe the swelling may go from the foot up to just under the knee.
Stasis dermatitis is caused by poor circulation in the legs. The rash sometimes appears after varicose veins have formed.
When the veins aren't working as they should the problems start.
This can happen from long periods of standing or sitting.
Normally veins in the leg push blood upwards toward the heart. When they aren't functioning properly the blood can start flowing the wrong way, downwards.
The action of the downward flow of blood causes pressure. This produces swelling in the skin. The blood can also end up remaining in the vein. This is called blood pooling.
After sometime the build up of the blood has an affect on the skin. This is when the rash occurs.
Treatment for this type of eczema includes
If the skin gets infected then you would use an emollient. One with an equal mix of liquid paraffin and white soft paraffin, may be a good choice.
For a steroid treatment an ointment is a better choice. They contain less additives than a cream.
One thing that might be worth considering using is a compression stocking. They help to improve the blood flow.
There are some things you can do to help improve circulation in your legs.
Doing exercise is one thing. It helps push the blood through your veins.
Also keeping your legs up when sitting down helps to reduce swelling. Avoid sitting with your legs crossed too.
If treatment and protective measures don't help, the last option can be to have surgery. A severe option.
It is important, as with all types of eczema, to look after your skin.
If the skin's condition gets worse it can lead to an ulcer forming, called a Stasis Ulcer.
Antibiotics can be useful to treat an ulcer. Although just as important is keeping the area clean and covered to prevent further infection.
If an ulcer occurs, treatment must be given and supervised by a doctor.
With Stasis Dermatitis the most obvious thing to look for is the positioning of the affected skin. Is it on the bottom of the legs, and around where varicose veins are?
The look of the skin may help. Is it swollen, inflamed and itchy? Also your doctor will check for any signs of infection or the onset of an ulcer.
If your doctor is unsure they may refer you to a skin specialist.