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Mar 29, 2021

What Does Venous Stasis Dermatitis Look Like?

What is venous stasis dermatitis?

Venous stasis dermatitis is one name for a type of skin irritation (dermatitis) that’s caused by poor circulation (venous stasis). It’s also known as gravitational dermatitis, venous eczema, or varicose eczema. It generally occurs on the lower legs, which are the parts of the body mostly affected by poor circulation or varicose veins.

Symptoms of venous stasis dermatitis

Varicose eczema or venous dermatitis can cause the skin to become irritated in a variety of ways. It often starts on the inside of the ankles, but can appear anywhere on the lower legs.

Skin can become:

  • Dry
  • Scaly
  • Rough
  • Bumpy
  • Shiny
  • Flaky
  • Oozing
  • Crusty
  • Sore (to the point of skin breaking down in open sores or wounds)
  • Discolored/pigmented (often reddish brown but will depend on normal skin tone and colour)
  • Swollen (the swelling is often narrowed at ankles, and is said to look like an upside-down bowling pin)

What causes venous stasis dermatitis?

The condition is caused by poor blood flow, particularly as people age. This results in fluid collecting under the skin, swelling tissues and causing irritation on the surface of the skin.

Risk factors which make developing venous dermatitis more likely include being female, elderly, overweight, and having mobility issues, as well as having had an operation, having congestive heart problems, long-standing high blood pressure, or other conditions such as kidney disease or DVT.

Read our article What's The Best Natural Cream For Varicose Eczema? For more information on looking after venous dermatitis.

Balmonds Skin Salvation has had some very positive feedback from people with venous stasis dermatitis. If you prefer to use a softer, more easily-absorbed cream rather than an ointment, our Daily Moisturising Cream or lighter Cooling Cream work very well to soothe the itch and keep skin hydrated. However, we'd always recommend using water-free ointment on any broken or raw skin.

Recommended products:

Balmonds Skin Salvation
with hemp and beeswax

Balmonds Daily Moisturising Cream
with shea butter and calendula

Balmonds Cooling Cream
with shea, menthol, aloe vera & lavender

Important Note

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.

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