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Understanding and Treating Venous Stasis Dermatitis

Published on April 18, 2017

Venous stasis dermatitis, also known as stasis dermatitis, is a condition that develops as a result of poor blood circulation in the lower region of the legs. Like many other diseases, there are various stages of progression of venous stasis dermatitis.

In the initial stage, someone who possesses the condition may notice swelling in their legs. The next two stages include itchiness followed by redness. Understanding the risk factors and causes can help prevent and treat venous stasis dermatitis.

What is Venous Stasis Dermatitis

Individuals who have poor blood circulation have a high risk of developing venous stasis dermatitis. The lower regions of the legs are affected because the veins are unable to circulate the blood in the area, causing the blood to pool in the area.

The pooled blood causes a build-up in pressure on the veins. The pressure will damage the veins and cause an influx of fluid into the tissues outside capillaries, which are branching segments of the veins. Due to this fluid influx, the legs tend to swell, a condition known as edema.


In addition to the swelling, itchiness, and redness of the skin, some people also tend to develop sores on their legs. This is due to a presence of a protein, fibrinogen, which finds its way into the tissues surrounding the veins of patients. The protein may prevent adequate oxygen supply to the tissues, damaging the surrounding area.

Are You at Risk?

Understanding the risk factors is important for treating stasis dermatitis. Venous stasis dermatitis commonly affects the elderly and women. The condition might also be a result of other medical conditions such as hypertension and varicose veins.

People with poor heart or kidney functions tend to be more at risk, as their body is unable to circulate blood or remove toxins from the body easily. Having excessive blood clots or experiencing severe trauma from an injury may also cause venous stasis dermatitis.


There are several steps that you can take to prevent the damage caused by stasis dermatitis. These steps include:

• Moving your legs around so they don’t remain in one position for too long
• Taking frequent breaks from standing for hours on end by sitting down
• Using a footstool to elevate your feet if you have to sit down for a long time to improve blood flow


Based on the symptoms you’re experiencing and the extent of the disease, there are various options available for treating venous stasis dermatitis. Your doctor might recommend antibiotics, to prevent infection to the sores. You may also be prescribed anti-steroid creams to treat the redness and itching. To correct painful, swollen veins, surgery might be recommended.

You can boost your treatment outcome by improving your lifestyle. This includes regular exercise to help facilitate weight loss and better blood circulation. Making changes in your diet and eating healthier foods with less salt can also reduce edema.

Contact Our Office

Dr. Raffi Dishakjian is a well-respected and highly experienced vein specialist in the Los Angeles area. Contact our office to schedule an informative consultation with him so that he can help you find a solution to your venous stasis dermatitis.

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