Stasis Dermatitis

Troubled at the sight of red, bumpy rashes on your legs? You may be having Stasis Dermatitis, a medical condition caused by poor blood flow in the legs.

Stasis Dermatitis Definition

The word “Stasis” means reduced blood flow whereas dermatitis signifies inflammation of the skin. Simply put, it is the condition where there is an inflammation or swelling of the skin because of low blood flow.

This medical syndrome affects the legs and causes skin inflammation, itching and irritation. It generally happens due to circulatory problems. The condition is mostly found in the inner side of the calf. In medical terms, it is known by many names like “Varicose eczema”, “Congestion eczema,” “Stasis eczema,” “Gravitational dermatitis” and “Gravitational eczema”.

Picture 1 – Stasis Dermatitis | Source – uiowa

Stasis Dermatitis Symptoms

Stasis Dermatitis affects the legs of a person. Naurally, the symptoms of this disease are mainly visible in the legs of the sufferer. But it can also affect other body parts like the arms if they suffer from poor blood circulation. The symptoms include :

  • Appearance of red rashes
  • Itching in the affected area
  • Accumulation of fluids under the weakened skin region
  • Darkening or thickening of skin in the ankles or legs
  • Development of ulcers and sores in the weak skin area
  • Pain in the legs
  • Cracks in the affected region of the skin
  • Thickened skin in the affected leg region
  • Formation of lesions in the legs

The cracked skin in the affected leg region can make bacterial infection easier and lead to other complicated skin conditions like Statis Ulcer.

Stasis Dermatitis Causes

As mentioned earlier, the condition is caused due to poor blood circulation. In normal conditions, the blood flows from the veins of the legs to the heart. But poor circulation causes a reduction in the blood flow. This leads to a build up of fluids in the legs. The leg tissues swell due to this. When the fluids get accumulated over a period of time, they cut down blood supply to the tissues. The tissues suffer from poor nourishment due to this. The removal of waste products from the cell also becomes difficult. Naturally, the skin gets affected and weakened. It becomes discolored and thin. Bumpy skin rashes are formed that cause pain and itching.

Stasis Dermatitis is also caused due to other leg conditions resulting from low blood circulation. These include

Varicose Vein

The veins in the legs become wider which causes fluid accumulation. It affects the blood supply and impacts the skin in the legs.

Blood Clots

Poor blood flow in the legs also leads to the formation of blood clots in the veins of pelvis or lower legs.

Congestive Heart Failure

This poor heart condition leads to impaired blood flow throughout the body and affects the legs.

Kidney Failure

When this severe condition develops, the kidney fails to perform normally. The body wastes cannot be removed and there is an accumulation of waste fluids in the veins.

Chronic Leg Inflammation

Infections, kidney and liver disorders or trauma can cause this condition. It directly affects blood supply to and from the legs.

Chronic Stasis Dermatitis

Many people tend to mistake acute Stasis Dermatitis with Chronic Stasis Dermatitis. Stasis Dermatitis can be termed chronic only if lasts for about 6 months or comes and goes for a long period of time. The treatment of Chronic Stasis Dermatitis is almost the same as normal Stasis Dermatitis cases.

Stasis Dermatitis Treatment

If the affected skin area causes pain, appears red and oozes pus, it is time to consult a doctor. It is not advisable to depend only on home treatment. Lack of expert medical care may lead to serious complications in the leg such as chronic leg ulcers, bone infections or bacterial skin infections. There may also be a permanent scar in the weakened area of the skin.

The treatment of Stasis Dermatitis condition is done after a proper diagnosis. Doctors observe the appearance of the skin. In some cases, tests are carried out to determine the blood supply into the legs. Once the doctor is sure of Stasis Dermatitis, treatment begins.

Professional medical treatment for this disease mainly consists of medications and therapies. Generally, steroid based creams are applied on the affected skin region to improve circulation. Compression stockings are also used to push the accumulated fluids out of the legs using force. Diuretics are used to increase the flow of urine that helps to remove fluids built up in leg tissues. Topical antibiotics may also be prescribed to prevent bacterial infection in case ulcers have developed in the affected leg region. Oral antibiotics may be given if there is Cellulitis, or body tissue inflammation, in the legs.

If Stasis Dermatitis is found to be caused due to Congestive Heart Failure, Kidney Failure or other complicated conditions, the doctor concentrates first on treating that disorder. Curing that complication effectively can make the Stasis Dermatitis symptoms disappear automatically.

Sequential Gradient Pump Therapy is a well known therapeutic method used for Stasis Dermatitis treatment.

Stasis Dermatitis Natural Treatment

Stasis Dermatitis can not only be cured through therapies and medications. There are also a number of ways to treat it naturally. Doctors often advise using these natural remedies side by side with medications. Some of these methods have been mentioned here.

Elevating Ankle Above Heart

Lie down on your back. Let your ankle rest on a couple of pillows. This will raise it above the level of heart and let the blood from the legs flow back to the heart. This can be done while sitting or sleeping.

Clean Affected Region Regularly

If there is acute Stasis Dermatitis, clean the affected area with clean water at regular intervals. This will prevent any bacterial infection in the region.

Wearing Compression Boots

Wearing compression stockings and boots during your waking hours can help circulation in the weak region.

Avoiding Scratching

In most Stasis Dermatitis cases, there are rashes and sores in the affected skin area. Try not to scratch it as much as possible. Scratching can damage the skin even more and make it more vulnerable to germs and infections.

Taking Rest

In severe cases, a complete bed rest is necessary. If your doctor advises you to take rest, pay heed to it.


Walking improves circulation. If your condition permits, take regular short walks. Consult your doctor how much you can walk every day.

Stasis Dermatitis Pictures

A pictorial description helps a person have a better idea about a medical condition. If you have doubts regarding this disease, go through these Stasis Dermatitis images and get a clearer picture about the condition.

Picture 2 – Stasis Dermatitis Image
Source – uiowa

Picture 3 – Stasis Dermatitis Photo
Source – dry-skin-eczema-treatment

If you are suffering from Stasis Dermatitis or know someone who has this disease, get expert medical help immediately. Even though this is not a very serious ailment, it may be a symptom of some other severe health condition. In worse cases, Stasis Dermatitis may lead to some major health complications. So it is better if you

treat the condition as early as possible.


  1. Barbara Decker May 31, 2011
  2. K JUWAHEER December 1, 2011
  3. Pat July 13, 2012
  4. Doug From PA June 20, 2013
  5. Rowena September 4, 2013
  6. sandy October 9, 2015
  7. Robert August 11, 2016
  8. Lindsey Russell December 25, 2018

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