If atopic dermatitis is not a problem in itself, Mother Nature may be said to collude with the human body to produce varicose eczema or stasis dermatitis. Just as the name implies, it is located near the legs’ varicose veins with the skin on the ankles being the most affected area. Varicose veins, in turn, are the result of the blood vessels malfunctioning in that the blood flows backwards with overweight and obese people being the most likely to have them.
Stasis dermatitis has similar symptoms to the other types of eczema with the exception of the following signs peculiar to the former including:
- The skin at the ankles and legs appear thick, dark and filled with lesions while the rest of the area may have red spots
- The skin may be weaker with ulcer-like formations in many areas
- The legs and ankles may be swollen
- The skin feels extremely itchy
Because of the cracks, lesions and ulcers on the skin, an individual with varicose eczema is predisposed to bacterial infection.
As with other types of eczema, basic skin care is of absolute necessity. You must regularly use an emollient, apply a topical steroid and avoid potential allergens. If you have had bouts of atopic dermatitis, you will know what to do to prevent flare-ups with stasis dermatitis.
But since this is a different type of eczema, you must adopt other measures. For one thing, you have to avoid injuring your skin as even the smallest cut can lead to skin ulcers. Your legs must also be elevated when resting but you must also be physically active to encourage normal blood flow. We recommend regular walks.
You will also appreciate the use of below knee compression hosiery when you have varicose eczema. This is with the assumption that there are no arterial issues present with older patients required to undergo Doppler testing to rule said insufficiencies out. You may want to skip on said hosiery since it is uncomfortable but you will be missing out on the benefits, too.
Prognosis and Prevention
Despite these treatments, you must accept that medical science has yet to find the permanent cure for stasis dermatitis. You have a chromic condition that takes time to heal. Your family must be prepared to deal with the symptoms so that you have a support system for your skin condition.
Even when the topical and oral steroids have cleared up the eczema, the changes in skin pigmentation will persist. Then again, if you can be rid of the primary symptoms of varicose eczema, your non-flawless skin will be of secondary importance.
You can also control the flare-ups of your stasis dermatitis. Your doctor should provide advice on how to manage your varicose veins, deep vein thrombosis and venous insufficiency.
Your varicose eczema may seem like a lost cause, but with the proper medical and natural interventions, there is still hope that it will be a small part of your life and will not affect your overall quality of life.