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Venous stasis dermatitis

Venous stasis dermatitis is the term used to describe the reactions of the skin to its being flooded with venous blood. The symptoms occur at those sites where arterial blood flow is hindered most by venous blood, i.e. the lower portions of the leg, the calf and the ankle – exactly those sites at which venous leg ulcers most commonly occur. Stasis dermatitis is a common precursor and must be regarded as a serious warning sign. Because of strong itching one often finds encrusted scratch marks at these sites.

 
Click: Venous Stasis Dermatitis

A still unexplained feature of stasis dermatitis is the fact that it can spread. One finds similar strongly itching areas in the skin – which may range from small foci to large surfaces – at body sites that are by no means connected with venous circulation disorders, such as the back, the chest or the arms. Curing the primary eczema cures these distant sites of eczema as well.

At this point it would be appropriate to mention a further type of skin damage that does not belong to the category of eczemas. Rather, like stasis dermatitis it is a consequence of excessive pressure in the skin veins of the leg. This form is known as white atrophy. The condition is marked by noticeable, glassy, bright areas, the size of a pea or a coin, mainly in the vicinity of the ankle joint. They take years to develop but could, without any forewarning, suddenly turn into an extremely painful leg ulcer.

Click: Starting ulcerous decay in a zone of white atrophy

Starting ulcerous decay in a zone of white atrophy.

Dr. Russ © 2014