Varicose Eczema


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Varicose eczema is a skin condition, which is also called venous eczema or gravitational eczema. It causes the skin around varicose veins to become red, peeling, and irritated.

Symptoms of Varicose Eczema

Varicose eczema begins with slight itching on and around your varicose veins. It then becomes scaly, inflamed, and more itchy. The symptoms are:

  • Redness on the affected area
  • Dry skin
  • Lumps or blisters
  • Signs of infection such as a discharge or deposit

Varicose eczema can be extremely irritating and should be treated to avoid damage, which can be caused by scratching.

Causes of Varicose Eczema

Varicose eczema is caused by increased pressure in the veins, which leads to skin changes. The causes of these skin changes are unknown although some believe that it may be due to a changing relationship between the skin and the blood vessels. This changes the way that products such as oxygen, waste, and nutrients are passed from the skin to the blood vessel and may result in changes to the structure of the skin.

Treatment of Varicose Eczema

The treatment of varicose eczema is two- faced as it involves treating both the underlying varicose veins and the eczema itself.

Varicose eczema is treated with emollients, which are moisturisers that make the skin more comfortable. Emollients also keep the skin flexible and moist preventing breakages and further irritation. They can come in the form of creams, ointments, gels, and lotions each of which can be effective. The choice of what form of emollient you use is a personal choice and can be determined by sensitivity to certain ingredients. Emollients are applied to the effected skin in large amounts and should not be rubbed in. They should be used until your eczema clears up even if you are not feeling the symptoms at the time.

You should also avoid using soap and bubble baths as they dry the skin and can irritate varicose eczema. It is possible to buy emollient soaps, bubble baths, and shower gels, which will help to relieve your symptoms.

If emollients do not work, stronger medications may be required. Corticosteroids can be applied to your varicose eczema to manage its symptoms. They reduce the inflammation as well as itching, heat, and soreness. Corticosteroids are applied directly to the skin over and around your varicose veins effective in relieving varicose eczema.

Once the varicose eczema has been treated, it is important that you treat your varicose veins to prevent further outbreaks. Moderate treatments such as compression socks may be effective in relieving your varicose veins and preventing further outbreaks of varicose eczema. On the other hand, compression socks could irritate varicose eczema if it flares up again.

If this is the case, you may require further treatment to remove the varicose veins this may involve surgery, sclerotherapy, radiofrequency ablation, or laser treatment. Once your varicose veins have been removed, and providing that further varicose veins do not develop you will not suffer from further outbreaks of varicose eczema.


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