Varicose eczema is an uncomfortable condition, but will it ever go away completely?
Because varicose (also known as venous or statis) eczema is the result of a problem that isn’t anything to do with the skin, it can be very hard to treat.
Venous eczema is caused by tiny valves in the veins not working properly, usually as a result of other health conditions which mean someone finds it hard to be active. The pressure that builds up in the surrounding tissue triggers an inflammatory response, and can cause damage to the skin of the lower legs, leading it to become itchy, dry, tight or ulcerated.
You can take steps to manage the circulatory problems: compression stockings; exercises; leg elevation; losing weight; and in serious cases, surgery, are all management strategies your doctor might suggest. If those measures are successful, then the eczema can be more easily controlled, and further complications avoided, but the problems with poorly-functioning valves can't be cured completely.
A secondary management strategy is to keep the affected skin well moisturised, and feed it the nutrients it needs to repair itself. This means applying emollients every day, to nourish and hydrate the affected area.
So although venous eczema is likely to be something you’re prone to long term, there are definitely steps you can take to manage flare-ups, making them less frequent and less severe. The end goal is to avoid further problems, such as infection, painful swelling or lipodermatosclerosis, and to keep your skin in good, well-cared for condition.
Our recommended products for looking after skin prone to venous eczema:
Balmonds Skin Salvation with beeswax & hemp (from £7.99 for 30ml)
Great for if the skin is broken or very sore, as this oil-based balm won’t sting on raw skin.
Balmonds Cooling Cream with menthol, aloe & lavender (£19 for 100ml)
A good, light lotion to keep (unbroken) tight or hot skin well moisturised and cool.
Balmonds Daily Moisturising Cream with shea, hemp & calendula (from £13.99 for 100ml)
A rich, easy-to-apply cream containing nourishing oils to support the skin’s natural cycle of repair and regeneration.
If you require medical advice we recommend you always contact your healthcare professional.
If you or someone you are caring for seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there's something seriously wrong, call for emergency services straight away. For general medical advice, please contact your healthcare professional, this article does not contain or replace medical advice.
Do not delay getting help if you're worried. Trust your instincts.