Stasis dermatitis is a type of eczema or dermatitis that we typically see in our senior patients. Basically, in our veins we have valves that are like a V and they block the blood from going backwards. As we age, those valves get a little bit incompetent and the blood back flows, and when those red blood cells filter into the skin and the body breaks that down, it causes the type of dermatitis that typically we’ll see on the lower legs. And that’s very common in our senior patients. So some things that are important for patients with stasis dermatitis, we tell them that they need to keep their legs elevated, above the level of the heart as long as possible.
When they’re watching TV or reading or on the computer, because that helps to move the blood back through the veins; back into the circulation. If they’re going to be out for long periods of time or on a long airplane flight we’ll often recommend compression hose. Again, because that’s pushing the blood back through the venous system.
When stasis dermatitis is flaring of course like all the forms of eczema that we’ve talked about it’s going to be itchy and scaly and red. We’ll use our mainstay of eczema treatment which is the topical corticosteroid creams typically for two or three weeks to calm it down. And then once it’s under control, we’ll go back to our maintenance regimen which again is a common theme with eczema where we’ll use a bland emollient such as Eucerin or CeraVe or Aquaphor on a daily basis.