What is Stasis Dermatitis?
This is a chronic skin irritation that is commonly seen in your legs especially near your ankles and calves. It can also appear in your arms but is mostly in your lower extremities. It is also referred to as varicose eczema, venous stasis dermatitis, or gravitational dermatitis. Most cases of stasis dermatitis develop in people who are middle aged and older. In the United States alone, there are approximately fifteen to twenty million people over the age of fifty who have this medical condition. People younger than forty years of age develop stasis dermatitis. It is also appears that more females than males develop it.
Stasis Dermatitis Symptoms
When a person has stasis dermatitis their skin will usually darken and appear to have a reddish brown discoloration. Your skin can also take on a thin, papery look. Other symptoms that will usually occur with stasis dermatitis include:
- Possible itching at the site that can be extreme
- Skin cracking and ulcerating overtime causing open sores that can be painful and heal very slowly.
- Edema that can cause the area to feel and appear swollen in one or both legs. If the swelling is severe it can even include your foot and travel up your leg to just underneath your knee.
- Discomfort in the area or pain in the leg that is affected
- The area of your skin that is affected can be inflamed looking
- Having patches of skin that can be scaly, dry, or ooze
- When your skin becomes infected it can have a crusting that is honey-colored
- When you repeatedly rub and scratch the area your skin can thicken
- On the tops of your feet and lower legs you may see lesions that are violet-colored.
Having stasis dermatitis can sometimes make it difficult to wear shoes and clothes that are snug-fitting. Because your skin in the area that is affected looks unappealing and can lead to a person suffering psychological distress.
Stasis Dermatitis Causes
This skin irritation will usually happen because of a result of poor circulation because the blood pools in your extremities instead of circulation through your body. When a person has poor circulation it is hard for the venous blood to return to your heart and it will start to pool in your extremities. The capillaries could break down and release red blood cells into this area and overtime the tissue there can become inflamed and cause stasis dermatitis to develop.
Two of the many reasons that a person can develop poor circulation, and can be fatal in each case if not treated, can include:
Congestive heart failure
Congestive heart failure which is a medical condition in which a person’s hearts function as a pump is not adequate enough to meet the needs of your body.
Diabetes mellitus which is a group of metabolic diseases in which you have high sugar. It is also referred to as simply diabetes.
The primary cause of having poor circulation is your advancing age. It can also be caused by having an injury, deep vein thrombosis, or surgery that causes damage to the veins in the lower part of your leg can also cause it. If a person has varicose veins, high blood pressure, blood clot, obesity, heart conditions, living a sedentary lifestyle or kidney failure are at more of a risk for developing stasis dermatitis.
Stasis Dermatitis Treatment
To treat stasis dermatitis it is a two-fold process. There is the need to find out what the underlying reason is to cause your poor circulation and the irritation that it causes. The poor circulation problem and cause may be taken care of by internists and cardiologist while the dermatologist will take care of the skin irritation. To help bring relief to the itching you can use topical steroid creams that can be gotten with a prescription or over-the-counter. To help push the fluid up the extremity that has been affected you can wear compression stockings, which can usually be found in the pharmacy department of a department store or by prescription. You will need to wear these compression stockings all day in order for them to be effective. Although they can be uncomfortable in hot weather you still need to wear them.
If you have ulcerations the dermatologist or physician can prescribe antibiotics because these ulcerations, or wounds, can contribute to cellulitis developing along with other infections. Some of these infections can become very serious if they are not taken care of immediately and properly. You can also treat stasis dermatitis by elevating your legs above your heart when sitting or laying down.
Even if the case of stasis dermatitis is resolved you still need to find out what is the cause for poor circulation as stasis dermatitis can come back if the underlying cause is not addressed and taken care of. Even if stasis dermatitis cannot be cured it should be monitored and managed to keep your general level of health as high as possible. When you are managing the underlying causes of poor circulation it can also help to improve your quality of life.
Stasis Dermatitis Pictures
Collection of Pics, Images and Pictures of Stasis Dermatitis…