Eczema on your legs might be caused by venous insufficiency
Stasis dermatitis is an eczematous eruption that occurs on the lower legs in some patients with chronic venous insufficiency. In early stages, it presents itself as lower leg skin erythema and erosions produced by excoriations due to dryness and significant itching. Over the time it progresses to broad areas of redness and scaling that eventually leads to significant skin atrophy and/or ulceration. Ultimately, entire process is the end result of prolonged ambulatory venous hypertension.
Venous Ulcers and Arterial Ulcers
What may be obvious to some is not always clear to others, even for people within the medical profession. It is even more difficult for the average patient or for the general public to say what is or is not a venous leg ulcer.
To diagnose venous origin of the ulcer we need to demonstrate presence of venous incompetence and /or obstruction, hence a venous ulcer. On the other hand, an arterial ulcer is a result of severe deficit of arterial blood supply to extremity, usually a result of severe atherosclerosis and PAD.
What if ulcer is due to combined venous and arterial insufficiency?
In patients with chronic, long lasting or/and poorly controlled Diabetes mellitus, ulcers might represent compromised microcirculation and/or advanced peripheral neuropathy.
On rare occasions leg ulcer might represent skin malignat or metastatic malignat lesion. Bed ridden patients might develop pressure ulcers. Severe skin infection might lead to ulceration as well.
It is important to understand that the treatment of arterial ulcers requires a different approach than the treatment of venous ulcers.
Arterial ulcers are usually treated with arterial stent, or arterial bypass grafting done in a hospital setting.
Venous ulcers do not require hospital stay. Treatment plans might include debridement of infected skin and wound, stimulation of the ulcer surface, customized dressings and multilayer compression adjusted for patient's arterial blood pressure. Eventually reverse blood flow, otherwise known as reflux, that caused venous ulcer has to be corrected.
If you have questions schedule a consultation with Dr. Jozef Tryzno, MD, Diplomate of the American Board of Venous & Lymphatic Medicine, Registered Vascular Technician.