Dermatitis may be a term wont to describe irritation of the skin with scaling, rough or dry skin, redness, itching, and sometimes oozing, crusts, and erosions. Stasis may be a term wont to describe leg swelling seen in conditions of poor circulation and fluid buildup.
Stasis dermatitis is skin irritation and breakdown thanks to the fluid accumulating under the skin.
Stasis dermatitis are often thanks to venous insufficiency (vein valve malfunction), coronary failure , and other conditions that cause swelling, usually within the legs, but sometimes in other areas also.
Who's at risk?
Stasis dermatitis occurs in 6–7% of these over the age 50. The risk of developing stasis dermatitis increases with age. Women are slightly more likely to be affected, perhaps thanks to the effect of pregnancy on the leg vein system.
When seen in younger people, it's usually thanks to surgery, trauma, or a history of deep vein blood clots or repeated infections.
Signs and Symptoms
Itching and red, dry areas are usually the primary signs of stasis dermatitis. The inside ankle area is often first affected, gradually involving the lower leg up to the knee. The skin may appear shiny or have reddish-brown patches.
Swelling (edema) is typically present, but in chronic cases of stasis dermatitis, there's gradual tightening and scarring of the skin resulting in hard and sometimes tender areas.
In severe cases of stasis dermatitis, the skin breaks down with oozing, crusted areas and ulceration. White, shiny scars are often left after healing.
In long-standing cases, there could also be significant thickening and darkening of the skin from rubbing.
The most important step is to correct the underlying problem causing the fluid buildup. It is also important to understand that the condition is usually a chronic one requiring ongoing care for the rest of one's life.
If the stasis dermatitis is mild and clearly associated with leg swelling, which is minimal upon arising within the morning but worse after each day of standing, simple measures can assist the veins and reduce the chance of progression of the disease, requiring medical care.
These steps include:
Ø Wearing elastic support hose (worn to at least knee height) should be put on in the morning upon arising. Many non-prescription and attractive styles are available for men and women. Although they're initially tight, discomfort is a smaller amount because the swelling is controlled.
Ø Raising the legs above the level of the heart when sitting reduces fluid buildup.
Ø Applying 1% hydrocortisone cream (available over the counter) to the red, itchy areas twice daily.
Ø Practicing a proper skin-care routine, which includes using only mild soaps or cleansers and applying a moisturizer (such as petrolatum) after each bath on the legs.
Ø Avoiding the use of other creams or topical antibiotics, as allergic reactions are common.
When to Seek Medical Care
If the leg swelling does not respond to simple support hose, see the doctor to look for the underlying cause of the swelling. Also seek help if the itchy areas don't improve with self-care.
Evidence of infection includes pain, fever, increased swelling and redness, or open areas amid pus. Ulcers or sores require medical attention.
Treatments Your Physician May Prescribe
The doctor will do an exam to work out the explanation for the swelling; vein studies could also be suggested and, rarely, a culture or skin biopsy could also be done. Compression stockings (a specially designed stocking that applies pressure to the leg to stop fluid from pooling) could also be recommended.
Stronger corticosteroid creams could also be used for brief periods (not prolonged periods, however, thanks to the possible thinning of the skin from chronic use). Infection may be treated with oral or intravenous antibiotics. Oral medications could also be wont to control coronary failure or reduce the presence of fluid.
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