Venous stasis dermatitis, or venous eczema, can occur when your veins, most often those in your lower legs, have problems keeping the blood moving through them. This lack of movement can lead to a build-up of fluid, creating pressure and leading to blood leaking out into your skin. The condition is more common in women and more likely to occur in those over 50.
Veins are designed to return the blood to the heart from the various organs in your body. Blood travels upward from the leg veins. The muscles in your legs contract the veins, pushing the blood along the path. Valves in the veins will help to keep the blood in its upward motion and prevent backflowing. When venous stasis occurs, the valves or walls of the veins are weakened, and blood can backflow, preventing its upward motion, or leak out of the vein itself.
Symptoms of Venous Stasis
Multiple symptoms can occur with venous stasis, but the most common and often the first one noticed is swelling around the ankles. The swelling often makes your ankles feel heavy, and it tends to be more prevalent at night or after high levels of activity. Though this is the most common symptom, it is often accompanied by one or more symptoms below.
- Discoloration of the skin around the ankles
- Varicose veins
- Pain with or without itching
- Sores that ooze
- Thickened skin in the lower legs
- Hair loss on the legs
Causes of Venous Stasis
Venous stasis can be caused by age, as venous insufficiency can occur as you get older. It is also often linked to people with circulatory issues, since your blood return directly affects your circulatory system. Other causes linked to the condition include:
- High blood pressure
- Heart conditions
- Kidney failure
- Blood clots
- Multiple pregnancies
- Past surgeries in the affected area
- A sedentary lifestyle
Venous Stasis Treatment
Treatment options mainly consist of improving circulation and, in some cases, repairing the veins. You may be advised to wear compression stockings and keep your feet above your heart for at least 15 minutes every two hours when you sleep to improve blood flow. If you have itching or pain, you may be prescribed a topical steroid to apply to the affected area.If you have an open sore, you will have to apply topical antibiotics to prevent infection.
Lifestyle changes may also be advised that can improve circulation. This includes regular exercise, resting when your legs are sore or swollen, and maintaining a healthy weight. You also want to make sure you take care of your skin by keeping it moisturized and healthy.
If you have varicose veins due to venous stasis, you should consider the various removal options. Removing your varicose veins can help eliminate some of the pain and swelling that may result from venous stasis.
Make an Appointment With the Vein Doctors at The Kimmel Institute in Florida
Venous stasis can lead to problems that can interfere with your daily life and drastically affect the appearance of your legs. The good news is, you don’t have to suffer. The experienced doctors at The Kimmel Institute in Florida understand how vein issues can affect your life and know which treatments can help solve the problem. If you live in the West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, or Fort Lauderdale areas, our South Florida team is ready to help. Our experienced vein specialist will assess your condition and discuss all possible treatment options. Call us at (561)948-5560 today to schedule an appointment.