Venous eczema, also called varicose eczema or stasis dermatitis, is a skin condition that can affect your lower legs. Here are three things you need to know about venous eczema.
What are the signs of venous eczema?
If you develop venous eczema, you'll notice that the skin of your lower legs is itchy and red. The skin may become scaly or dry, as well. Discoloration of the skin is another sign of venous eczema, and you may notice that the affected skin is darker than the rest of your skin. Ulcers may form on the affected area.
In addition to these noticeable skin symptoms, you may experience swelling of your lower legs. Your legs may also feel heavy and uncomfortable. If you notice these signs, go to a walk-in clinic for an examination.
What causes venous eczema?
Venous eczema is caused by chronic venous insufficiency. This means that the veins in the legs don't work properly, either because the walls of the veins are weakened or the valves are damaged. The blood can flow the wrong way in these damaged veins or pool within the veins instead of circulating normally.
When the blood in your legs isn't flowing properly, the skin that's supplied by those blood vessels can become inflamed. This inflammation damages the skin and can lead to itching, pigmentation changes and other concerns.
Can venous eczema be treated?
A walk-in clinic doctor can treat the skin symptoms of venous eczema, though you'll need to see your family doctor to determine the cause of your circulatory problems and have them treated.
Topical steroids can be prescribed to control your skin symptoms. These medicated creams or ointments will control your skin inflammation, and this can also help to get the itching under control. These creams are a short-term solution because using steroids for too long can lead to side effects like skin atrophy, and the drugs will also become less effective over time.
The walk-in clinic doctor can also prescribe non-steroidal drugs like tacrolimus or pimecrolimus. These drugs will suppress your immune system and help to decrease your inflammation. Since these drugs aren't steroids, they can be used for long-term control of your symptoms.
Keeping your affected skin moisturized is also very important. Choose a bland lotion that doesn't contain any fragrances that could further irritate your skin. Your doctor can recommend a suitable lotion if you're having trouble finding one.
If the skin of your legs is dry, discolored or itchy, you may have venous eczema and should go to a walk-in clinic. Check it out -- here's one option of a walk-in clinic you could choose.