Varicose eczema (or venous, gravitational or stasis dermatitis) is a form of eczema which specifically impacts the lower legs. If you have varicose veins, you are far more likely to suffer from this condition.
Symptoms of Varicose Eczema
Apart from only appearing in the lower leg, the symptoms are much the same as any other types of eczema. This includes:
- Itchy rash
- Red and swollen
- Dry and flaky skin
- Scaly skin
- The varicose veins in your legs may become more prominent.
- The legs become swollen towards the end of the day or if you have been standing for long periods of time.
In most cases, there will be times when the symptoms completely disappear and the skin is clear. Sometimes, in rare cases, it will be a permanent condition.
In other cases, there may be different symptoms, however, we must stress that these symptoms are very rare:
- The skin may become a brownish color.
- The skin may become very red, tender, and it may even become tight.
- Small white scars will appear on the legs.
- You may experience pain in the legs.
When should you talk to your doctor?
As soon as you believe that you have varicose eczema, we suggest that you talk to your doctor. This way they can provide you with the treatment that you need right away. While eczema is not necessarily a dangerous condition, it can be very uncomfortable to live with. In addition to this, if you leave the condition untreated too long, leg ulcers will start to form and these are going to be very painful.
What causes the condition?
Several different factors, in fact. In most cases, it is due to a larger amount of pressure on the veins in the legs. The larger amount of pressure means that the veins stop working properly. Long story short, this causes a leakage of fluid into the tissues and it is likely that the eczema occurs because the body’s immune system is starting to attack this fluid.
In some cases, there is no reason why you develop the condition. It just happens. This does not necessarily mean that it is harder to treat, but the doctor may never find a reason for it.
There are also several risk factors for suffering from varicose eczema. This includes:
- If you are a woman, you are more likely to suffer from the condition.
- If you are overweight, you are more likely to suffer from the condition. This includes those who are pregnant too.
- If you do not move for long periods of time.
- You have suffered from DVT in the past.
- As you get older, you may find that you are more likely to suffer from the condition.
Treating the condition
The best way in which to treat varicose eczema is through compression stockings. These help to improve circulation around the area. YOU can also improve circulation by regular exercise. In some cases, moisturizers to stop your legs from becoming dry are all that you really need.