How Can Stasis Dermatitis Be Prevented?
Stasis Dermatitis is a condition that affects nearly 40% of adults today. While the name may imply that it is a skin condition, the truth is that the underlying cause of stasis dermatitis lies deep within the veins. In fact, the full name of the condition is venous stasis dermatitis. The good news is that there are several simple measures you can take to prevent or reduce the damage caused by this condition.
What Causes Stasis Dermatitis?
Stasis dermatitis is caused by blood and fluid collecting in your lower extremities. The veins in your legs contain tiny valves that help push blood up to your heart while preventing the blood and fluid from flowing backward. As you age, these valves become less effective and the muscles in your legs weaken. This allows blood and fluid to begin collecting near your ankles instead of being pushed up to your heart to circulate. As the fluid collects, it places a strain upon your capillaries which eventually break and leak, causing large discolored spots on your skin that are painful to the touch.
Stasis Dermatitis Symptoms
Venous stasis symptoms can take many forms. At first, you may notice swelling of the ankles that goes away at night. The swelling will return when you wake up and resume sitting upright. As the swelling increases, it usually becomes uncomfortable or painful to touch. The swelling will eventually progress to a point where spider veins become very apparent, and then those capillaries will break and discoloration will begin. This usually starts out as an angry red spot or a bruise, but the longer the condition persists, the more likely the spot will turn brown and become lumpy indicating permanent damage to the area.
How to Prevent Stasis Dermatitis
Since stasis dermatitis is caused by circulation problems, the solution is to treat the veins in the legs. Simply moving around more and building up more muscle mass in the legs can significantly reduce the strain on your veins and help push more blood upward. This is because the muscles exert pressure on the veins and keep the valves functioning normally. It is also helpful to use compression stockings. These stockings put pressure on the outside of the veins to make up for any slack caused by weak muscles. Exercise and compression stockings can actually help reverse some of the damage caused by venous stasis symptoms over time.
The Sheen Vein Institute in St. Louis provides additional support and services for patients suffering from stasis dermatitis. Call us today and ask one of our experts how stasis dermatitis can be prevented and learn more about the symptoms of the condition. The earlier you spot the signs, the more likely you will be able to undo the damage and return to pain-free living.