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Varicose Eczema

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

What is varicose eczema?

Eczema is a common skin disorder characterised by red, scaly and often very irritating patches of skin. In varicose eczema, also known as gravitational or stasis eczema, the condition is preceded by varicose and often ulcerated veins and the eczema is usually concentrated around the damaged veins.

Conventional Medical Treatment

Conventional medical treatment typically involves elasticated supports to assist the venous blood supply and topical applications to alleviate the irritation. In some people, elasticated bandages cause further pain and cannot be used and there are many documented side effects associated with topical ointments (including hydro-cortisones).

Topical medical applications in varicose eczema often cause eczema in other parts of the body. Researchers in France (1) revealed that patients with leg ulcers or varicose eczema commonly suffer from contact eczema due to the allergic reactions to local applications of pharmaceutical preparations. This contact allergy may concern not only the active ingredient but also the excipient, the preservative, or even the perfume. They warned that in all cases of leg ulcers, of varicose eczema, but also of badly healed ulcers, tests should be carried out and urged the pharmaceutical industry to perfect non-allergenic preparations.

Whilst varicose eczema is a chronic and often debilitating condition there are several alternatives available which have been shown to help the underlying cause (ie. varicose veins and poor blood supply) and alleviate the irritation of the resulting eczema.

(1) [Contact eczema in patients with leg ulcers] Eczema de contact chez les patients atteints d'ulceres de jambe. Degreef H; Dooms-Goossens A; Gladys K Phlebologie (FRANCE) Jan-Mar 1986, 39 (1) p135-43


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