Venous Stasis Dermatitis

Venous stasis dermatitis is a skin condition that affects the lower legs. It usually presents as red and/or brown discoloration and swelling of the lower legs, and in many cases it  may be dry, scaly, and itchy. In severe cases, the skin may weep fluid or become crusted.

Stasis dermatitis is caused by the collection of fluid in the skin and deeper tissue of the lower legs. In most cases, this is due to a decreased ability of the leg veins to return blood to the lungs due to abnormal leg vein valves. The excess fluid causes the lower legs to become swollen and inflamed.

Treatment for venous stasis dermatitis involves decreasing the pooled fluid in the lower legs through leg elevation, exercise, and compression. In addition, topical corticosteroids are usually applied to reduce symptoms and inflammation. In severe cases oral antibiotics, diuretics,  and oral steroids may be needed as well. In certain individuals, treatment by a vein specialist may reduce or eliminate stasis dermatitis.