Stasis Dermatitis – What Is It And What Are The Symptoms?

The arteries in the human body do the job of carrying oxygenated blood to the different parts of the body, and the veins do the job of bringing the blood back to be purified or oxygenated.

When there is poor blood circulation in the body, this may result in a number of different problems that arise out of venous insufficiency or arterial insufficiency.

This is when a particular area of the body does not receive sufficient pure blood by way of the arteries or where the impure blood is poorly drained by way of the veins.

What happens here is there is the stasis of blood that is seen to pool in particular areas due to insufficient venous return.

To put it simply, the veins are unable to do their job of taking the blood away from that part of the body efficiently and it gathers there, resulting in stasis dermatitis.

There is now additional pressure being put on the capillaries, which are the smallest blood vessels, from which leakages occur.

These are skin changes that are also termed as Congestion eczema, Gravitational dermatitis, Gravitational eczema, Stasis eczema, and Varicose Eczema. The symptoms are:

  • There are significant and noticeable changes in the skin surface: it may appear dry, thin, paper like and brownish in color. There may be skin lesions, spots, patches and irritation.
  • Sometimes there is a thickening or darkening of the skin in the area of the legs, particularly the ankles.
  • There may be swelling in the ankles, legs or other areas of the body.
  • The skin surface weakens and ulcers may appear.
  • The open ulcers or sores may appear on the surface of the skin. It is the weakening and the cracking of the skin that leaves it open to bacterial infection, and when the situation worsens it results in the formation of venous ulcers.
  • There may be pain in the legs.
  • Itching is also commonly seen.
  • Arterial ulcerations could be found on the toe tips and between the toes; the outside of the ankles.
  • The skin of the lower legs seems shiny, hard and tight.
  • Hair growth in the area may have lessened considerably or ceased.
  • Skin in the area may seem cooler than other areas.
  • The types of ulcers that are caused by arterial insufficiency and venous insufficiency are different in terms of roundness, having smooth edges and how well they are drained.