Stasis dermatitis, also referred to as venous eczema or gravitational dermatitis, is a skin inflammation which develops in people with poor circulation.
The word “stasis” signifies ”reduced blood flow” and dermatitis means ”inflammation of the skin.”
This condition is more frequent in people who are 50 or older. An exception would be sufferers with acquired venous insufficiency after trauma, surgery, or thrombosis (the formation of a blood clot inside a blood vessel).
Women are slightly more affected by this condition, most likely due to the effect of pregnancy (especially if the pregnant woman is overweight or obese) on the leg vein system.
Venous eczema most commonly occurs in the lower part of the legs since that is where blood usually collects. At increased risk of developing venous eczema are people who have, or have had:
- kidney failure;
- venous insufficiency;
- a lack of exercise;
- varicose veins;
- excess body fat;
- a heart condition;
- standing for a long time;
- surgery to the area;
- deep vein thrombosis.
Symptoms of stasis dermatitis include:
- swelling, particularly around the ankles;
- leg ache;
- discolored skin;
- scars where ulcers healed;
- varicose veins, that look twisted, bulging, and dark purple;
- scaling and dryness;
- infection, like – cellulitis, a potentially dangerous bacterial infection with Streptococcus pyogenes;
- shiny skin;
- open areas (larger ulcers or cracking);
Complications of gravitational dermatitis may include:
- contact allergy (a type of inflammation of the skin that results from exposure to an irritating substance) to one or more components of the creams or ointments used for treatment;
- secondary eczema which spreads to other areas of the body;
- cellulitis – there may be swelling, redness, fever, or pain;
- impetiginization – infection with Staphylococcus aureus.
Here are 10 home remedies and natural treatment for stasis dermatitis (venous eczema):
#1 Aloe Vera
In ancient Egypt, aloe was thought to be as a sacred plant that held the secrets to health, beauty, and immortality.
Aloe vera is used in traditional Indian medicine for skin diseases, constipation, infections, worm infestation, and as a home remedy for colic. Minerals found in aloe vera are copper, sodium, iron, calcium, zinc, chromium, potassium, manganese, and magnesium.
In addition, it contains vitamins like A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B9 (folate), B12, C, and E. All these nutrients have remarkable health benefits.
You can use aloe vera gel on the affected skin area and let it soak into the skin for a few hours. Also, you can mix aloe vera gel with a few drops of vitamin E oil for better results.
Apple cider vinegar is produced from apple cider which has undergone fermentation to form health-promoting enzymes and probiotics.
In addition, ACV contains vitamin C which reduces stress, inflammation and contributes to a healthy immune system.
Dilute the vinegar with water and apply it over the rash with a cotton ball to reduce irritation and itching, relieve inflammation, and encourage a faster healing.
It is a tree indigenous to the Balkan Peninsula. The extract of horse chestnut which derives from its leaves, seeds, bark, and blossoms is commonly added to a variety of herbal cosmetics and medicines.
Furthermore, it is able to reduce inflammation in swollen veins due to its active natural anti-inflammatory properties.
Also, it can tone capillaries and blood vessels to prevent edema and other circulatory disorders due to its high content of aesculin and aescin.
It is an enzyme found in pineapple which helps reduce irritation and swelling of the skin.
These potent anti-inflammatory effects partly come from its capacity to lower the levels of prostaglandin E2 and thromboxane A2, hormone-like compounds which are associated with constriction of blood vessels, blood clotting, and the modulation of inflammation.
Additionally, according to recent research, this enzyme has been found to have natural anti-cancer attributes, including preventing tumor growth and promoting apoptotic cell death.
#5 Baking Soda
Baking soda, also referred to as sodium bicarbonate, is an alkaline substance that is useful in managing healthy pH levels. Baking soda also exfoliates the skin to remove the excess dead cells and moisture on the skin’s surface.
In addition, it has natural skin cleansing and antiseptic qualities which clear the pathogenic bacteria on the skin.
Use a cup of sodium bicarbonate in a cool bath and soak for about 30 minutes for optimal relief.
Oatmeal is a humectant, meaning that it helps moisturize the skin.
The multiple benefits of oatmeal are due to its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, called avenanthramides.
To treat itchy skin inflammation, it is recommended to soak in a colloidal oatmeal bath, available in preparations, like – Aveeno.
Calendula is an annual flower which is native to the northern Mediterranean countries. Calendula was used in making teas for soothing the stomach, however, it is currently more used in small amounts to produce creams for skincare.
This medicinal herb can increase oxygen and blood flow to the area around a wound, helping the human body grow new tissue, therefore, it helps speed up the healing process, according to research from the University of Maryland.
Note – do not use calendula if you are allergic to plants in the Asteraceae/Compositae family, such as – chamomile, ragweed, and echinacea.
#8 Frankincense Essential Oil
It is typically used in topical formulations and considered one of the best essential oils to promote healing, reduce swelling, and even improve skin tenderness.
Frankincense is a natural anti-inflammatory agent, hence, it is excellent for reducing redness. To use this essential oil, you just need to apply small amounts to the affected skin area.
It is another great natural treatment since it has powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
To use it, you just need to rinse the affected skin with warm water, then apply a thin layer of honey. After half an hour, rinse with water.
Another method to use honey as a home remedy is to combine 2 Tbs of honey and 1 tbs of cinnamon powder and use topically on the affect skin area.
#10 Cool Compresses
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, cool compresses ease the symptoms by reducing skin inflammation temporarily.
You can use a cool compress three times per day for instant relief.
Note – if your skin is cut or broken, avoid using a damp cloth because this may lead to an infection.