Stasis dermatitis affects the skin of the lower legs and ankles, resulting in a brown discoloration and a cobblestone or bumpy appearance, according to MedlinePlus. The skin may appear very thin or become red, crusted or weepy, and scratching can cause irritation and cracking. In the early stages of the disease, many patients experience swelling and varicose veins, and the progression of the disease can result in open red sores, called venous ulcers, notes the American Academy of Dermatology.
Stasis dermatitis occurs due to the pooling of blood in the legs, called venous insufficiency, explains Healthline. In addition to changes in the appearance of the skin, the disease can cause calf tenderness or pain, and aching in the legs that worsens when standing.
Treatment for stasis dermatitis, which is often a chronic disease, involves managing venous insufficiency. Sufferers should avoid sitting or standing for extended periods of time and keep the leg raised when sitting. Compression stockings help to reduce swelling. In some cases, doctors may recommend wet dressings, oral antibiotics or topical steroid creams. Patients should refrain from using topical antibiotic ointments, lanolin, calamine and products that numb the skin, such as benzocain, states MedlinePlus. Wearing loose-fitting cotton clothing can help to prevent additional skin irritation, advises the American Academy of Dermatology.