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Varicose eczema: the causes and treatment

Lesley Dobson / 06 November 2014

Varicose eczema is particularly common in older people - some 20% of those over 70 are affected by it. What triggers it, and how do you cope with this condition?

Woman putting on compressions stockings to assist with varicose eczema
You may have to wear compression stockings if you have varicose eczema

Varicose veins are usually the cause of varicose eczema. Varicose veins appear on your legs when faults develop in the valves inside the veins. This means that blood flows backwards in the veins, leaving them swollen. The increased pressure in the veins can damage the skin, damaging it and causing varicose eczema.

Treatment for varicose eczema

This involves tackling the problem of the dry skin on the leg, as well as the varicose vein. Doctors often suggest using a moisturiser on the affected skin, or a corticosteroid ointment in more serious cases.

Steps you can take to improve your varicose eczema

Exercise helps to get the blood moving through your veins. Walking isn’t just good exercise, it helps to get the blood moving in your veins.

When you are sitting down, combat the swelling in your legs by raising them when you sit down. Putting a stool and/or some pillows under your feet should help.


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.