Chronic venous insufficiency can create problems for the leg veins, as it doesn’t allow blood to flow back up to your heart. When poor circulation happens, one condition that can develop is stasis dermatitis, also known as gravitational dermatitis or venous eczema. This condition affects the lower leg veins and is typically found in people who are 50 and older. Some medical treatments can help, and there are many ways to care for your legs to keep your condition under control.
The Symptoms and Causes of Stasis Dermatitis
When the blood is unable to circulate back to the heart, the blood pools around the ankles and feet, and one of the first symptoms people with this condition will notice is swelling. This swelling will get better when you sleep but then come back during the day when active. Other symptoms include red, yellow, or brown skin discoloration, varicose veins, oozing sores, hair loss around the ankles, thickened skin, and pain. These symptoms can often look similar to other conditions, such as diabetic feet, so it’s important to seek out a qualified healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis.
This condition often affects people who have circulation problems, and the veins in the legs have one-way valves that work to push blood up the legs back to the heart. When these circulation problems occur, it’s referred to as venous insufficiency. Some conditions that can increase your likelihood of stasis dermatitis include:
- Varicose Veins: Signs of varicose veins along the legs are one of the key signs of the veins not functioning properly, causing them to be enlarged and contributing to stasis dermatitis.
- Diabetic Kidney Disease: Those with diabetic kidney disease tend to suffer from venous hypertension, often related to higher levels of insulin resistance and unmanaged diabetes.
- Blood Clots: Also known as deep vein thrombosis, these clots can pose serious issues to the veins and blood vessels, leading to varicose eczema.
- Congestive Heart Failure: Congestive heart failure greatly contributes to the development of stasis dermatitis due to the stressors placed on the heart and blood vessels.
How Can Stasis Dermatitis Be Treated?
Treatment for stasis dermatitis varies depending on your overall health, medications, and current symptoms. Because circulation is the main issue, our physicians can recommend many at-home and in-office treatments that can help control your symptoms and relieve pain. Due to the fact that this condition most often results from underlying health problems, taking care of your health through diet, exercise, and hydration can greatly improve your symptoms. Other treatment options can include scheduling dermatology appointments, wearing compression socks, moisturizing your skin, wearing loose-fitting clothes, and taking breaks while sitting or standing. In severe cases of stasis dermatitis, surgery may be recommended as a last result for treating signs of varicose veins and insufficient blood flow.
For more information about managing stasis dermatitis, the best place you can learn more about this condition and how to treat it is by visiting our physicians at Vein Center of North Texas today to schedule an appointment.