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Eczema And Varicose Veins The Connection

When eczema and varicose veins appear together, usually your vein problem has become more severe.  It needs to be addressed.

You need to be sure why eczema is occurring to know what is the best way to manage it.  There are other causes.

Eczema and varicose veins with very shallow "blue blebs" presentSeveral areas of varicose eczema and shallow "blue blebs" of advanced disease

Atopic Eczema

As atopic eczema is so widespread, most people know someone close to them who has had this problem.  Occurring more commonly in childhood, people “grow out of it”.

Usually it appears in people with other “atopic” conditions: asthma and allergic rhinitis - or hay fever.

There can be links to food and other allergy provoking agents.  But there is a definite genetic predisposition frequently seen in several members of the same family.

Contact Eczema

At other times eczema can appear later in life associated with other provoking factors.  At times it can be known by another descriptive word - dermatitis.

There can be a direct provoking cause such as nickel sensitivities causing people to react to low-quality earring metals. 

Anything that breaks down the natural protective barriers of the skin can produce and increase the risk of eczema. 

Hence detergents of various sorts are often linked.  Their fatty or lipid interactions allow them to perform their cleaning function so well.

But this very action will produce an unwanted eczema tendency breaking down the cells and the protective natural oily barrier of your skin.

Other chemicals can then penetrate more easily, much like the increasingly recognised problem of the “leaky gut”.  Then sensitivities to these secondary agents can occur.

Varicose Eczema

This cascade illustrates something of what is going on with eczema and varicose veins. 

As more veins become involved in the varicose condition, there is increasing back pressure of venous blood that should be draining naturally back to your heart and lungs.

Eczema and varicose veins with large veins surrounded altered eczematous skin

The older blood is pooling in a sump-like effect.  It doesn’t get refreshed as occurs with normal circulation. 

Pressure, fluid and increased waste products in your tissues create a less than optimum environment for normal cell function.  

The skin especially deteriorates and becomes more dry. 

Usually at this stage there is an itching sensation, indicative of dryness.  Which encourages you to scratch or rub the area. 

Less healthy cells readily separate. 

Varicose eczema, sometimes called varicose dermatitis, results.



Interestingly in regular atopic eczema one of the simplest and safest skin products to use is a simple emollient or moisturiser.  Even widespread eczema outbreaks can be reversed by once or twice daily application.

Women particularly tend to moisturise their legs daily as a regular beauty treatment, keeping sleek and smooth.  For this reason the appearance of eczema can often appear to be delayed.

Therefore one of the simplest, most natural ways to help with varicose veins eczema is to regularly use a topical moisturiser.

Mild Cleansers

This can be combined with less drying soaps and soap substitutes in the shower and bath. 

These could be simple soaps, body washes and other proprietary bath and shower lotions.

Steroid Creams

Once this fails people and doctors often resort to using a steroid cream.  Usually one of the more potent ones.  

Regular use of these agents will thin your skin.  Which only adds to the risk of further varicose vein related skin problems.

At least its use may buy you some time to begin to seek out treatment.

Compression Stockings

If you need to wait some time to be able to access or afford definitive varicose vein treatment, then compression stockings for varicose veins can buy you time. As well as improving your eczema and varicose veins problem.

They need to be the correct compression, Class II, to provide effective control.  These require correct assessment and fitting.

Other Treatments

If the eczema becomes weepy this can be dried with dilute potassium permanganate solutions.  It will stain the skin temporarily, but controls the problem rapidly.

Infected eczema will usually require antibiotics to prevent spread to surrounding tissue.

The Problem With Eczema And Varicose Veins

Unfortunately you will find with eczema and varicose veins your skin quickly relapses requiring further treatment.

Often the change of season in autumn and spring is the worst time.  Just as with other forms of eczema.

Skin at this end of varicose vein disease is at high risk of developing a varicose ulcer.   Not something anyone wants.

As the skin at this stage is so compromised, insurance companies are usually very willing to cover treatment.

Buying Time

There is a standby to buy time before undergoing a definitive procedure - wearing compression stockings. 

These produce a more normal skin circulation by encouraging the deep vein flow which aids in draining skin veins.

They need to be worn each day to be of any benefit.  Which can be irritating. 

But for those who need to buy time for when it best suits them to undergo treatment as well as others with compounding health issues it can be a lifesaver.

Definitive Treatment

The definitive answer with eczema and varicose veins is to fix the underlying vein problems.  Not just the surface ones but all the problems hidden from the surface.

Effective treatment will cause the eczema to rapidly vanish.

If it recurs it usually indicates a new problem or breakthrough in the previously treated areas.   Again only specifically directed treatments will help.

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