Gravitational (varicose) eczema

Gravitational (varicose) eczema

Gravitational (or varicose) eczema is a complication of the slowed movement of blood within the lower legs secondary to varicose veins or deep vein thrombosis (DVT or blood clot).25-27 Persistent damage to the epidermis causes blockage of the small blood vessels supplying the surface of the skin, and poor healing of the resulting skin breakdown or ulceration can give rise to acute eczema.27

Varicose eczema appears as reddened inflammation of the lower leg. Small blisters are common and these can break down, and the fluid released dries to form crusts that may join together.26  

Gravitational eczema occurs in more than 25% of patients with varicose veins, and is most common in those aged 60 years and over.25,28

Gravitational/varicose eczema

Image source: DermnetNZ


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UK/GEN/16/0051 Date of preparation: October 2016