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Varicose Eczema: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment


What is varicose eczema?

Varicose eczema is a type of skin condition affecting the lower legs. Other names for the condition include venous eczema, gravitational eczema and stasis eczema.


What are the symptoms of varicose eczema?

  • itchy skin
  • redness and swelling
  • dry, flaky skin
  • scaliness and crusting of the skin
  • varicose veins

What causes varicose eczema?

The exact cause of the condition is unclear, but it is believed to be linked to pressure within the leg veins which causes the valves to stop working properly. When the valves don’t work properly, fluid is forced out of the veins and into the surrounding tissue, causing irritation.

People with varicose veins are more likely to develop varicose eczema, as are those who are overweight, pregnant, or unable to move around easily because of mobility issues.

Varicose eczema and varicose veins

Varicose veins are a sign that the valves in the leg veins are not working properly or are damaged in some way. This means that people who have varicose veins are more likely to develop varicose eczema than people who don’t have them. Your doctor may recommend varicose vein removal as part of your treatment.

How can I prevent varicose eczema?

As the condition is linked to circulation, taking measures to improve or maintain good circulation can help prevent it developing. Take regular exercise, eat healthily and elevate your legs regularly to boost circulation.

Natural remedies for varicose eczema

Varicose eczema is a dry skin condition, so keeping the skin well hydrated with natural oils or gentle, fragrance-free moisturisers is one way of alleviating symptoms naturally. Colloidal oatmeal is also believed to be beneficial for soothing skin irritation and can be applied directly to the skin in paste form, or added to your bath water. It’s available to buy from most health food stores. Always consult your GP before applying anything to your skin.

Treatments for varicose eczema

Varicose eczema should be diagnosed by a doctor or dermatologist who will be able to advise the best course of action. Commonly prescribed treatments include:


Is varicose eczema contagious?


Is varicose eczema curable?

No type of eczema is completely curable, but there are effective treatments for alleviating the symptoms (see ‘Treatments for varicose eczema.’)

Is varicose eczema hereditary?


Is varicose eczema painful?

It is an itchy skin condition, but some people do experience pain. If left untreated it can lead to painful leg ulcers.



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