Stasis Dermatitis

Stasis dermatitis involves skin changes that are caused by poor circulation and the resulting pooling of blood in the lower legs. Also called gravitational dermatitis and venous eczema, this condition could develop with aging, but it could also indicate the presence of another condition, like kidney or heart disease.

The dermatologists at the Mount Sinai Health System’s Center for Excellence in Eczema have extensive experience diagnosing and treating this form of eczema.

Causes of Stasis Dermatitis

This condition is most likely to develop in women and in people who have poor circulation. Additional risk factors for stasis dermatitis include hypertension (high blood pressure), having varicose veins, obesity, blood clots in the legs, and insufficient physical activity.

Symptoms of Stasis Dermatitis

Stasis dermatitis may begin with the skin of the lower legs and ankles appearing thinned or developing brown discoloration. Additional symptoms may include:

  • Leg swelling
  • Aching or heaviness in the legs
  • Pain that worsens when standing or walking
  • Crusting or cracking skin
  • Skin ulcers, thickening, bumpiness, or a dark brown tone could develop over time

Treatments for Stasis Dermatitis

Our dermatologists are skilled in treating stasis dermatitis. Diagnosing this condition involves a skin exam, and possibly testing to determine what may be causing the poor circulation.

Treatments for stasis dermatitis could include the following:

  • Regularly elevating legs above the heart
  • Wearing compression stockings
  • Diet modification, specifically avoiding high-salt foods
  • Topical corticosteroids to reduce inflammation