What is varicose eczema and what does it look like? We take a closer look.
Varicose eczema is a skin condition relating to the circulation of blood around the body; it’s also known as stasis, gravitational or venous eczema and affects the lower legs of mostly elderly people. For more information about why varicose eczema occurs, see our blog What Causes Varicose Eczema?
Here are some ways in which varicose eczema can appear on the skin:
- Varicose eczema is especially common on the ankles and shins.
- Skin affected by varicose eczema tends to look different from surrounding areas of unaffected skin and can appear discoloured.
- On skin of colour, it can be darker than unaffected skin, and can look purple, brown or dark grey, progressing from lighter to darker tones, and showing up as if the skin were stained.
- On pale skin, varicose eczema can show up as red or purple, but can also progress to darker brown or rusty-coloured patches, and can also look as if the skin were stained.
- Varicose eczema can make the skin look shiny and tight.
- It can get bumpy and thick.
- There may be little bumps or blisters of fluid.
- In severe cases, the skin might ooze or crust over, or become ulcerated, as the skin breaks down.
As with any variety of eczema, the important thing is to look after the affected skin carefully, keeping it well-moisturised and well-nourished, so it can do its job of providing a resilient barrier to the outside world.
For more information about how to care for skin affected by varicose eczema, see our article What's The Best Natural Cream For Varicose Eczema? which takes you through the process of choosing and applying emollients.
Our recommended products for looking after skin prone to venous eczema:
Balmonds Skin Salvation with beeswax & hemp (from £7.99 for 30ml)
Great for if the skin is broken or very sore, as this oil-based balm won’t sting on raw skin.
Balmonds Cooling Cream with menthol, aloe & lavender (£19 for 100ml)
A good, light lotion to keep (unbroken) tight or hot skin well moisturised and cool.
Balmonds Daily Moisturising Cream with shea, hemp & calendula (from £13.99 for 100ml)
A rich, easy-to-apply cream containing nourishing oils to support the skin’s natural cycle of repair and regeneration.
If you require medical advice we recommend you always contact your healthcare professional.
If you or someone you are caring for seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there's something seriously wrong, call for emergency services straight away. For general medical advice, please contact your healthcare professional, this article does not contain or replace medical advice.
Do not delay getting help if you're worried. Trust your instincts.