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Stasis dermatitis and ulcers

  • Alternative Names

    Venous stasis ulcers; Ulcers - venous


    The condition that is causing the problem and swelling must be controlled. Treatments may include:

    • Surgery to correct varicose veins
    • Medications to control heart failure
    • Diuretics to remove excess fluid

    Circulation in the area may improve as swelling goes down. Raising the legs above the level of the heart can help reduce the swelling. Gradually increasing gentle activity, such as walking, can improve circulation.

    Elastic stockings may be recommended to improve blood flow from the legs, which will reduce swelling.

    Treatments for the skin may include wet dressings and topical antibiotics to control infection in open ulcers. Keep the skin area clean.

    Support Groups

    Expectations (prognosis)

    Stasis dermatitis is often a long-term (chronic) condition. You may minimize symptoms by controlling the condition and swelling.

    • Bacterial skin infections
    • Chronic leg ulcers
    • Infection of bone
    • Permanent scar

    Calling your health care provider

    Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you develop leg swelling or symptoms of stasis dermatitis. Watch for signs of infection:

    • Drainage that looks like pus
    • Pain
    • Redness