What is venous eczema?

This is another type of eczema (inflammation of the skin) which affects the legs. Commonly affects middle aged to older men and women. This condition is also called stasis eczema or varicose eczema.

What causes venous eczema?

As the name suggests this condition is due to an underlying disease affecting the veins in the legs. The veins in our body drain the blood back to the heart. When this normal drainage is impaired pressure builds up in the blood vessels in the legs. This causes swelling of the legs and damage to the skin of the legs.

These conditions put you at risk of getting venous eczema: Varicose veins, deep venous thrombosis and heart failure.

What are the symptoms?

  • Red, itchy rash over lower limbs 
  • Dark, thickened skin (known as Lipodermatosclerosis
  • Ulcers may occur 
  • Ankle swelling

How can venous eczema be treated?

  • Skin rehydration: Emollients (various moisturisers)
  • Topical steroids: Skin steroid based preparations 
  • Compression hosiery 
  • Treat the underlying condition (e.g. varicose veins)
  • Other: If the irritating stimulus is known avoid it, stress and psychological factors may exacerbate eczema.

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