Varicose Eczema, also known as stasis eczema, gravitational eczema or venous eczema, is a long-term skin condition, which usually affects people already suffering from varicose veins and is mainly seen in the adults. This type of dermatitis usually happens due to poor circulation and affects the lower legs and feet with the appearance of sores. Also Read: Discoid Eczema: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
The insufficiency of proper circulation causes more fluid and pressure build in the veins, leading to leaking out of blood from the veins and causing varicose eczema.
This condition is usually observed in people suffering from circulation problems causing the veins do not return the blood back to the heart effectively. Generally, the veins in the legs have a one-way passage to help the blood pass through. On getting older and sometimes even due to obesity, the valves within the blood vessels may not work effectively leading to venous insufficiency which ultimately causes varicose eczema. Also Read: Eczema: Soothe Your Skin With These Amazing Natural Remedies
Varicose eczema may also happen due to the following causative factors including:
- Varicose veins
- High blood pressure
- A blood clot, especially in the leg
- Past surgery or injury in the area
- Heart conditions such as congestive heart failure
- Kidney failure
- Lack of exercise
- Sit or stand without moving for prolonged periods.
Varicose veins may initially characterize in the form of swelling around the ankles which might get better while at sleep and recur in the morning. The other signs and symptoms include:
- Varicose veins, (veins on the leg which look twisted, bulging, and dark purplish-blue)
- Sores that ooze out pus, crust, or look scaly
- Thickened skin around your ankles or shins
- Brown discolouration of the skin
- Small, white scars as in the case of atrophie blanche
- Heavy or aching legs
- Hair loss on ankles or shins
Diagnosis And Treatment
On noticing the above-mentioned signs and symptoms, do consult a doctor right away to get the condition diagnosed and start the treatment at the earliest. The doctor usually does a thorough physical checkup, acknowledges the patient’s past medical history to know about any blood clots, surgery, heart disease, or previous injury to the affected area. The doctor may also perform a few diagnostics which include:
- Blood Tests
- Heart function tests
- Imaging techniques like Ultrasound to analyse any blood flow problems
To treat and recover from Varicose eczema, it is necessary to apply a combination of these following treatment options which include:
Medications: These include topical corticosteroid ointments and creams which are directly applied to the affected part to provide relief from pain and inflammation. It also includes the intake of antibiotics in the case of erosions, ulcers, cellulitis, skin graft and other types of infection. Even anti-histamines are given to reduce itching and swelling.
Emollients: ‘Fragrance-free’ moisturizers and emollients are prescribed to reduce dryness and scaliness.
Self-help measures: Raising the legs and keeping it active might improve circulation and gradually reduce varicose eczema.
Compression stockings: Doctors also ask the patients to wear certain specially designed stockings, that help to squeeze the legs and this helps to improve the blood circulation.
Surgery: In certain severe cases, if the varicose veins cause extreme pain, discomfort or cause sores, the doctor may also perform a surgical procedure to remove the varicose veins to prevent varicose eczema.