Varicose Eczema : How to check if you have Varicose Eczema?


Varicose eczema, also known as venous stasis dermatitis, is a skin ailment that causes swelling, itchy, and discolored skin on the lower legs. It generally happens when varicose veins develop as a result of venous insufficiency. Ulcerations or open sores may develop as a result.

The disorder is also known as venous eczema and gravity dermatitis. It is a chronic illness that gradually becomes worse with time.

Leg veins that become twisted, bloated, and more obvious are known as varicose veins. They emerge as a result of weakened vein walls and valves. Blood builds up in the vessels as a result of this weakening, which can lead to varicose veins and swelling that can turn into stasis dermatitis.


Vessels may cause varicose veins and swelling that turns into stasis. Leg veins have valves that aid in returning blood to the heart. These valves may get weaker with aging. Venous insufficiency, a disorder caused by fluid and blood pooling in the lower leg as a result of weak valves, can occur.

Venous insufficiency can eventually become venous stasis dermatitis if a person is not treated. In this situation, the fluid that gathers beneath the skin causes the skin to irritate and begin to degenerate.

Risk elements consist of

  • Having a feminine body and being obese
  • History of deep vein thrombosis in elderly age (DVT)
  • Absence of motion
  • Enlarged heart failure
  • A deep wound to the leg or a vein in the leg
  • Renal illness 
  • Prolonged high blood pressure that is not treated, can damage the valves and cause stasis dermatitis

How to check if you have Varicose Eczema?

Skin problems that are persistent include venous stasis dermatitis. Varicose veins are caused by impaired circulation in the lower legs. Blood and fluid gradually seep from the veins into the legs.

Itching and discomfort are some of the earliest symptoms, which are often minor. The skin may become sore, swollen, and discolored if it is not treated. In more severe cases, the skin may develop ulcers that leak, harden, and become scaly.

Venous stasis dermatitis has no known treatment, however, modifying one's lifestyle may assist to lessen symptoms and stop additional deterioration.

A person should see a doctor right away for a diagnosis and treatment if they suspect they may have venous stasis dermatitis.


Ankles or lower legs may be affected on one or both sides by venous stasis dermatitis. It is possible for the skin to become unbearably touch-sensitive and unpleasant.

The following signs may become increasingly obvious over the day:

  • Ankle enlargement
  • Orange-brown spots on the skin that can be red on lighter skin tones and brown, purple, gray, or ashen on darker tones
  • Standing for an extended amount of time causes heavy legs and itchy, dry skin
  • Stinging skin

Venous stasis dermatitis can develop and progress if left untreated, leading to:

  • Swelling in the leg
  • Rigid skin
  • Weeping or leaking fluid, and sores that are still open or have ulcers


Venous stasis dermatitis often lasts the entirety of a person's life.

The lifestyle modifications listed below may help avoid this condition:

  • Maintaining a reasonable body mass index through regular exercise, a healthy, low-sodium diet, and frequent exercise (BMI)
  • Avoiding injuries to the legs, using loose-fitting cotton clothes
  • Taking breaks from prolonged sitting or standing, avoiding chemicals that could irritate the skin, and moisturizing the skin


The goal of the treatment will be to reduce the symptoms. The choices might be:

Dressings or compression stockings: These can aid in promoting circulation and reducing oedema.

Leg elevation: Patients are advised to elevate their legs for 15 minutes every two hours while awake. It could occasionally be essential to promote the legs as you sleep.

Corticosteroids: which a doctor may give to lessen inflammation in the legs, maybe one of these medications. An antihistamine is an additional choice that might lessen the irritation. People who experience ulcers or weeping may need specialized bandages that must be changed on a regular basis.

Antibiotics: These may be used in the event of cellulitis, ulcers, and other bacterial infections. A skin graft may be necessary for a big ulcer.

Emollients and moisturizers can help prevent dry skin. It is advised to use petroleum jelly or a thick cream that has been explicitly labeled as "fragrance-free" by the manufacturer.

Surgery: Varicose veins that cause pain, irritation, and sores can be removed with surgery.

Cleansers and moisturizers: To cleanse and hydrate the afflicted region, people should use mild, fragrance-free products. Topical antibiotics should be avoided since they might increase the symptoms of contact dermatitis and cause it to spread.

The following actions might lessen varicose eczema symptoms and guard against future issues:

  • Raising your legs when you are resting, for instance by propping up your feet on some cushions (preferably so that they are above the level of your heart), might assist in minimizing swelling and help you prevent harming your skin, which could result in an ulcer forming.
  • Maintain a healthy weight by being active; this will enhance your circulation.
  • Keep moving since sitting or standing still for an extended period of time might cause fluid to collect in your lower legs. Walking will engage your muscles and aid in rerouting blood to your heart by pushing it through your veins.


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Page last reviewed: Mar 21, 2023

Next review due: Mar 21, 2025

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