Stasis Dermatitis on Legs Pictures - 174 Photos & Images
Stasis dermatitis is skin inflammation that develops in people with poor circulation. It most often occurs in the lower legs because that’s where blood typically collects.
When blood collects or pools in the veins of your lower legs, the pressure on the veins increases. The increased pressure damages your capillaries, which are very small blood vessels. This allows proteins to leak into your tissues. This leakage leads to a buildup of blood cells, fluid, and proteins, which causes your legs to swell. This swelling is called peripheral edema.
People with stasis dermatitis usually experience swollen legs and feet, open sores, or itchy and reddish skin. A protein called fibrinogen may be responsible for the changes you see in your skin. When fibrinogen leaks into your tissues, your body converts it to the active form of the protein, which is called fibrin. As it leaks out, the fibrin surrounds your capillaries, forming what are known as fibrin cuffs. According to the Cleveland Clinic, these fibrin cuffs may prevent oxygen from entering your tissues. When your cells don’t receive enough oxygen, they can become damaged and die.
The symptoms of stasis dermatitis include:
- skin discoloration
You may also experience symptoms of venous insufficiency, including:
- leg swelling
- calf pain
- calf tenderness
- a dull ache or heaviness in your legs that gets worse when you stand
In the early stages of stasis dermatitis, the skin on your legs may look thin. Your skin may also itch, but try not to scratch it. Scratching can cause the skin to crack and fluid to seep out.