Varicose eczema is a long term skin condition that affects the legs. On lighter skin it looks red or brown. On darker skin it tends to look dark brown, purple or grey and can be more difficult to see. There may be periods when these symptoms improve and periods when they are more severe.
Varicose eczema is more common in people with varicose veins, as these are also often a sign that the leg veins are not working properly. It is advisable to see your GP for a proper diagnosis and to check if there are any underlying vascular conditions.
Causes of Varicose Eczema
There are a number of causes that are linked:
- Underlying vascular condition, like varicose veins
- Weakened immune system
- Nutrition and digestive problems
- Poor circulation and obesity
- Deep vein thrombosis
Natural (Home) Treatment
Natural remedies can help to reduce the symptoms in conjunction with medical treatment for the underlying cause:
Diet and Nutrition
If your diet is lacking a proper amount of fibre or you eat an overabundance of processed foods, it can increase development chances. A diet high in sodium is also a contributing factor.
Processed foods lacking fibre can increase constipation while salty foods can put pressure on your veins. Natural changes to your body, particularly pregnancy due to weight gain and hormonal changes.
When you control your diet, adding much-needed nutrients, you can prevent and decrease the likelihood of development altogether.
Exercise and Movement
One of the causes of vascular conditions is inactivity which may lead to poor blood circulation in your lower appendages increasing pressure in the veins. This will ultimately lead to stretching of the veins as blood pools in your legs. Other than swollen veins, this condition can be characterised by ulcers, fatigue, and itching. Exercise can help alleviate these symptoms along with the discomfort that comes with vascular conditions.
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Ice packs help relieve symptoms of itching, swelling and redness by reducing the temperature in the affected area.
Elevating your legs can help reduce inflammation, especially in the evening before bed.
Herbal remedies based on soothing and anti-inflammatory herbs such as chamomile, peppermint and St. John’s wort have reportedly helped varicose eczema symptoms.
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Lemon water and apple cider vinegar
Adding lemon to your water can help boost your immune system with vitamin C. Diluted apple cider vinegar in water is full of anti oxidants and contain anti bacterial and anti inflammatory properties.
Skin brushing stimulates blood circulation, which reduces inflammation in the body. It also helps to remove toxins and dead skin cells that can clog the pores and make the skin more susceptible to infections.
Stress creates inflammation and reduces oxygen flow, both of which can cause a flare up of varicose eczema. Explore ways to ease your stress and calm your mind like breathing techniques, yoga or meditation.
Green tea is full of antioxidants and high in vitamin C, Green tea also contains quercetin which contains antioxidants and anti inflammatory properties.
Get enough sleep
Insufficient sleep can exacerbate allergies, skin conditions and other health problems. Studies show that getting a good night’s sleep every night can reduce the symptoms of varicose eczema by 40%.
Compression stockings may or may not be suitable for some types of varicose eczema. This will depend on the blood flow in your veins which an ABPI test will determine.
Lifestyle changes can go a long way to helping you to manage your varicose eczema in conjunction with conventional treatments.
- What is Varicose Eczema?
- Itchy Varicose Veins
- Is Varicose Eczema Dangerous?
- What is Chronic Venous Insufficiency?
- Key Differences Between Varicose Eczema vs. Other Eczemas