ID: 111
Category: Skin Condition
CreatedBy: 1
UpdatedBy: 1
createdon: 25 Jan 2023
updatedon: 04 Apr 2023

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Author: Khoa Tran
Published Jan 25, 2023
Updated Apr 04, 2023

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Venous Stasis Dermatitis

Etymology and Pronunciation

Venous (VEE-nuhs)
vena - Latin for "vein"

Stasis (STAY-sis)
stasis - Greek for "a standing still, stoppage, or check"
Statis is derived from histemi which is Greek for "to stand"

Dermatitis (dur-muh-TAHY-tis)
derma - Greek for "skin"
-itis - Greek for "inflammation"

History of Venous Stasis Dermatitis

The history of venous stasis dermatitis can be traced back to the early 19th century when it was first recognized as a consequence of chronic venous insufficiency. At that time, physicians observed that patients with varicose veins often developed skin changes such as discoloration, thickening, and itching in the lower legs. However, the exact cause of these skin changes was not fully understood until much later.

In the early 20th century, researchers began to investigate the relationship between chronic venous insufficiency and the development of skin changes in the lower legs. It was found that the pooling of blood and fluids in the veins could cause inflammation in the surrounding tissues, leading to the characteristic skin changes seen in venous stasis dermatitis.

In the 1950s and 60s, researchers began to identify the specific mechanisms underlying the development of venous stasis dermatitis. It was discovered that the increased pressure in the veins due to venous insufficiency could cause the release of inflammatory substances into the surrounding tissues, leading to tissue damage and skin changes.

Over the years, various treatment options have been developed for venous stasis dermatitis, including compression stockings, topical steroids, and wound dressings. In recent years, new technologies such as endovenous laser treatment and radiofrequency ablation have also been developed to treat the underlying venous insufficiency that leads to the development of venous stasis dermatitis.

Modern Understanding of Venous Stasis Dermatitis

Venous Stasis Dermatitis is a skin condition that occurs as a result of "venous insufficiency", which is the inability of the veins in the legs to properly circulate blood back to the heart. This can lead to the accumulation of blood and fluid in the legs, causing edema, or swelling. People with varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency are at an increased risk of developing venous stasis dermatitis. The skin in the affected area may become red, itchy, and painful. Over time, the skin may also start to crack and blister, and it may become thicker and darker.

Venous stasis dermatitis presents as skin discoloration, itching, burning, and sometimes ulceration and inflammation. It can also lead to a secondary condition, such as cellulitis, dermatitis, or eczema. People with venous stasis dermatitis may also experience leg swelling, ankle swelling, calf swelling, and superficial thrombophlebitis, or phlebitis.

Doctors diagnose venous stasis dermatitis by how it looks. In order to make sure you don't have a blood clot, your doctor might advise an ultrasound test.

Causes of Venous Stasis Dermatitis

Venous stasis dermatitis is caused by a problem with the valves in the veins that help to pump blood back to the heart. When these valves don't work properly, the blood can flow backwards and pool in the legs, leading to increased pressure and damage to the skin. Venous stasis dermatitis is most common in people who have varicose veins, deep vein thrombosis, or other conditions that affect the veins.

Risk factors for venous stasis dermatitis include obesity, pregnancy, a sedentary lifestyle, and a family history of the condition. Other underlying conditions that can contribute to venous stasis dermatitis include deep vein thrombosis, varicose veins, and chronic venous insufficiency.

Treatments for Venous Stasis Dermatitis

Treatment for venous stasis dermatitis typically involves managing the underlying vein condition and reducing inflammation and symptoms. Compression stockings and compression therapy are commonly used to treat venous stasis dermatitis. Elevation of the legs and topical treatments, such as antibiotics and steroids, can also be used. In severe cases, venous ulcers may develop and require wound care, such as sclerotherapy or endovenous ablation.

It is important to seek medical attention if you have symptoms of venous stasis dermatitis, as it can lead to serious complications, such as deep vein thrombosis. By managing the underlying venous insufficiency and controlling the symptoms of venous stasis dermatitis, people can prevent progression of the condition and maintain healthy skin.


Varicose veins
Swollen skin
Skin dryness
Skin redness

Confirmation Tests

- Ultrasound

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