Varicose Eczema: Best Home Treatment Tips for 2022

 

So first off, if you’re confused by the multitude of names this type of eczema decided to award itself, you’re not alone. 

Bit arrogant, awarding yourself FOUR titles, don’t you think? Anyway varicose eczema also likes to be referred to as: 

- Venous eczema

- Gravitational eczema

- Stasis dermatitis

It’s never straight forward with eczema, is it?! But feel free to pick and choose as you wish, that’s what Google seems to do.  

In this article, you’ll find: 

1) What is varicose eczema?

2) Symptoms

3) Causes

4) Top tips for a simple home treatment plan

Let’s get to it!  

So, what is varicose eczema? 

Varicose eczema is a chronic, long-term skin condition that impacts the lower legs. 

It usually affects people that have varicose veins or other circulation problems and is more common in women than men, with 1 in 5 over 70s suffering from the problem. 

With all skin issues that are related to eczema, there’s unfortunately not one cure that you can rely on. But as ever, there’s a multitude of ways you can ease symptoms and stop a flare up dead in its tracks. 

Symptoms of varicose eczema 

Similar to many of its brothers and sisters in the dermatitis family, the skin on your lower legs can have the following symptoms when subject to varicose eczema:  

- Itchy

- Dry

- Crusty

- Red

- Inflamed

- Scaly

- Weeping 

Often your legs may also become swollen, especially at the end of the day or if you’ve been standing for long periods. 

Some people also experience other symptoms such as: 

- Tight skin that eventually becomes hardened

- Discolouration of the skin

- Small, white scars

- Eczema spreading to other parts of the body (as if one part wasn’t enough)

- Open sores or ulcers - this usually happens if varicose eczema is left untreated so it’s important to seek direction immediately from a doctor if you think you’re showing symptoms 

Causes

Taking a step back for a second and if you weren’t already aware, varicose veins occur (in simple terms) when faults develop in the valves inside your veins. 

This then results in blood flowing backwards, leaving your veins swollen and with a raised appearance. 

This increase in pressure and swelling of the veins can then damage the skin, subsequently causing stasis dermatitis (see, we can use different names too).

However it isn’t just varicose veins that causes this nasty skin condition, some other conditions that can result in poor blood flow in your legs are: 

- Obesity

- Not being able to move for long periods of time - affecting the circulation in your legs

- High blood pressure

- Previous deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or surgery to your legs

- Gender

- Pregnancy

- Age

- Kidney failure

- Heart conditions 

Top tips for a simple home treat-ment plan 

The aims of treatment for varicose eczema should be to improve your circulation as well as the condition of your skin. 

For circulation

1) Keep active! Doing regular exercise can be a fantastic way to not only protect against gaining weight but also to keep the blood pumping.

2) Bored infront of the TV? Raise your legs! (Ideally above the heart). This is a super simple way to reduce swelling in the lower legs and improve blood flow.

3) Wear compression socks. Very common and usually worn everyday, compression socks squeeze your leg and ankle tightly at the bottom and become looser nearer the top.

4) Try your best to avoid long periods of sitting or standing and if they’re unavoidable, definitely invest in some compression socks as mentioned above. 

For the skin condition

1) Stop the scratch! We KNOW this is so tough but it’s a vital part of ensuring your skin has a chance to repair and improve. As luck would have it we’ve made a highly effective anti-itch spray that can be your partner in crime here. Check out our shop page for further info.

2) Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise! If you’ve suffered from eczema for any length of time this shouldn’t come as a surprise, but it’s worth repeating. Moisturising is crucial for preventing water loss and helping to protect your skin barrier.

3 )Paste bandages with zinc oxide. These can help reduce scaliness and protect your legs from any further damage.

4) Wet soaks with potassium permanganate to help if your skin is weeping.

Of course beyond this you can also turn to corticosteroids to help reduce inflammation and improve the appearance of your skin. 

Make sure you visit your doctor first and understand the correct way to administer topical creams, plus the potential dangers.

Although safe when used sensibly, long-term abuse of steroids can lead to unwanted side effects.  

Top tips on how to moisturise: 

1) Once you’ve hopped out of the bath or shower, don’t waste a minute. Pat down your skin carefully with a soft towel (being careful not to rub up and down) and apply our calming spray straight away, followed by a moisturiser of your choice. This helps lock in that vital moisture early and prevents the skin from drying.

2) Use a large amount of emollient all over the skin - not just the area that is impacted - and be sure to apply it in one direction, with the hairs, not against. 

Sum up

So there we have it! 

Varicose eczema? Completed it. 

What have we missed? (There’s always something). Jump over to our Twitter page and let us know! And please feel free to leave any advice you think might benefit our awesome community :)

With care,

The yan-yee team 

Sources

- Varicose Veins. (2020). Link

- Venous leg ulcer. (2019). Link

- DVT (deep vein thrombosis). (2019). Link

- Potassium permanganate. (2006). Link

- Venous eczema. (2019). Link

- Varicose eczema. (2014). Link

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