Venous Stasis Dermatitis Treatment Specialist Questions and Answers
Inflammation of the skin of the lower legs is a sign of venous stasis dermatitis. Do you have itchy or scaling skin? Colorado Laser & Vein Center is here to help. For more details please call us or book an appointment online. We serve patients from Centennial, CO and surrounding areas.
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When there is a problem with your veins, normally the lower legs, your blood won’t move very well. As more fluid and pressure build up, some of the blood may leak out of your veins and into the skin. This is venous stasis dermatitis and is very common in people 50-plus, with more women likely to have it than men. Medical treatments can help; however, there are many that can be done on your own to get the problem under control.
Symptoms of venous stasis dermatitis include swelling around the ankles, this is commonly the first sign most people will notice. It might get better when you sleep, and then it may come back in the day when you are active, and your legs might feel heavy when you stand or walk. Other symptoms might include pain, itching, sores that look scaly, crusty, or oozing, hair loss on the shins or ankles, brownish, reddish, or yellowish color above the ankles, and varicose veins (they appear twisted, bulging, and dark blue or purple).
The causes of this condition stem from circulation problems. When your veins are not working well, they simply do not return the blood back to your heart like they are supposed to. The veins in your legs have one-way valves that help the blood move, and their job is to push blood back up your legs. As you age and have other health problems, the valves may not work as they once did, and this is called venous insufficiency. In some cases, this and other conditions can cause pressure to build, where not enough blood and oxygen reach your skin. High blood pressure, obesity, heart conditions, varicose veins, and kidney failure or problems are some of the common conditions that make you more likely to get venous stasis dermatitis.
Treatment for stasis dermatitis includes treating its root cause and also controlling its number of symptoms. Treatments can include topical or oral antibiotics if the skin is infected, avoiding foods high in salt, elevating legs above the heart every few hours to reduce swelling, and wearing compression stockings to reduce swelling. Supplemental vitamin C and rutin (a plant pigment and antioxidant) to help keep blood vessels healthy and flexible is also another effective treatment for patients.
Stasis dermatitis is obvious when you have it on the legs: you will experience itching, swelling, open sores, crusts and oozing, and thickened and discolored skin on the shins or ankles.
The goal in the treatment of stasis dermatitis involves taking medications, using antihistamines to relieve itching, using antibiotics and special dressings to treat infected ulcers, taking medications to ease the pain, and wearing compression stockings to relieve swelling and promote circulation, and sleeping with legs elevated or keeping them elevated for 15 minutes once every two hours. Now, how to get rid of it for good. Is there such a thing? Yes, thanks to medical intervention with laser therapy, medicines, and surgery. The problem however will not go away if you wait. The quicker you act to treat it, you will prevent serious complications. Keeping your dermatology appointments is important too as you may have the condition for life and spending time with your doctor will pay off. Your dermatologist may help you manage the disease at home with healthy habits and medication, and if necessary, may recommend surgery or other treatments. Vein surgery is another option, so massage in other cases or your dermatologist may refer you to another doctor to help amp up treatments so that you can tackle the issue better. Always remember, your doctors have your health top of mind and their goal is to find the best treatments that may help the condition or get rid of it for good.
For more details please call us or book an appointment online. We serve patients from Centennial CO, Southglenn CO, Englewood CO, Littleton CO, Castle Rock CO, Denver CO and Highlands Ranch, CO.