Venous Stasis

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Venous Stasis

Venous stasis dermatitis occurs when you have a problem with the veins, typically those located in your lower legs. When veins are weakened or damaged, this prevents blood from moving back to the heart like before. That leads to fluid and pressure building up, and some of the blood leaking out from your veins and into the skin. 

Also known as stasis dermatitis and venous eczema, the condition can cause swelling and dark or red patches to appear around the ankles. It can also lead to the appearance of a venous stasis ulcer if left untreated. This condition is much more common with individuals over the age of 50, and women are more likely to have venous stasis than men. Medical treatment is available to help with this condition, and there are also some self-care steps you can take on your own to prevent the problem from becoming worse. 

What are the Symptoms of Venous Stasis? 

The first sign that many people with venous stasis notice is swelling around their ankles. The swelling will sometimes get better with rest or overnight as you sleep, but it will usually come back the next day once you are back on your feet again. Another common symptom of this condition is the heaviness of the legs, especially as you walk or stand. 

Additional symptoms of venous stasis include the following. 

  • The skin that is around the ankle looks brownish, reddish, or yellow color.
  • Varicose veins that are twisted or bulging start to form. These veins have a dark purple or blue tone. 
  • The legs become painful or itching 
  • Sores appear on the legs that crust over, ooze or are scaly
  • The skin around your ankles and shins become thicker

What is the Cause of Venous Stasis?

Several conditions can lead to venous stasis. It often affects those who already have circulation problems. When the veins do not work as they should, they don’t return the blood back to the heart.

The veins in the legs have a valve system that works one-way. It is the valve’s job to push blood up through the legs. As we age, or as we develop other health conditions, the valves do not work the same way as they did in the past. That is a condition known as venous insufficiency. Sometimes, this will cause pressure to build up. That leads to not enough blood or oxygen reaching the skin. 

Some conditions can put you at a higher risk for developing venous stasis. These are: 

  • Varicose veins
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Kidney failure 
  • Blood clots
  • Pregnancy
  • Past surgeries or injuries to the legs
  • Sitting or standing for long periods.

Treatment for Venous Stasis 

Since poor circulation is the primary issue with venous stasis, you may require surgery to repair the veins. Other forms of treatment that are non-invasive include 

  • Wearing compression stockings. Doing so can help to ease up the swelling in the legs and improve your blood flow. 
  • Keep your feet elevated. By keeping your feet above your heart when possible, you can help improve problems with circulation. Do this for at least 15 minutes every two hours or while you sleep at night for the best results.
  • Do not stand for too long. If you do have to sit or stand, try to take short walks as often as possible. 

Get Help with Venous Stasis Dermatitis in Your Area 

If you live in the Antioch, Oakland, or Castro Valley area and need help with Venous Stasis or other vein conditions, you can get in touch with the experts here at BASS Vein Center for assistance. Call us today for more details.



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