Dermatitis is a broad term used to describe inflammation of the skin, and various conditions fall under this heading. The common conditions usually involve swollen, reddened skin or an itchy rash. While not dangerous or contagious, dermatitis often leaves people feeling self-conscious and uncomfortable. A combination of medical treatment and self-care strategies can typically ease the symptoms. Treatment from a doctor is especially essential if the individual's skin becomes painful, if self-care strategies have not worked by themselves, or if the skin appears infected.
Thickened, discolored (reddened) skin on the shins or ankles, swelling, itchiness, and open sores with oozing and crusting are common signs of stasis dermatitis. This type occurs when varicose veins or other circulatory conditions result in fluid build-up in the lower legs. The swelling creates pressure beneath the skin, which inhibits enough oxygen and blood from reaching the skin. Because stasis dermatitis occurs as the result of poor circulation, treatment focuses on improving circulation. Wearing compression stockings, avoiding sitting or standing for extended periods, and propping one's feet up when sitting may help improve symptoms.
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