Varicose Eczema

When we think of eczema we usually think of the familial, atopic eczema that affects many of our children. There are however literally hundreds of different types of skin inflammation. Many are classified as eczema yet have little resemblance to atopic eczema.

Varicose Eczema is one such skin inflammation.

Also known as Gravitational Eczema or Stasis Eczema, Varicose Eczema affects the lower legs and is more common in middle aged to older people who are female and overweight. And usually those who have had varicose veins or a deep venous thrombosis in the past.

Poor circulation in the lower legs causes the skin in this area to become blotchy, inflamed, swollen, itchy and discoloured. Poor circulation is frequently the result of a weakness or damage to the valves of the leg veins.

A lack of nutrients in the skin causes the skin to be thin. Healing is poor due to the decreased circulation and varicose ulcers may form if the skin splits.

The treatment of the symptoms of varicose eczema are the same as for atopic eczema. Keep the skin well moisturised and use a good treating cream to control the inflammation, redness and itching. The condition will also require medical supervision to treat and monitor the cause of the eczema, which is the poor circulation.

Any break in the skin requires prompt medical attention to prevent an ulcer or infection developing.

Mel Sinclair, RN