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Mr Griffin asked...

My wife is suffering severe pain

Tags: skin , eczema

My wife is increasingly suffering severe pain in lower legs and feet, often with hot and very red skin conditions. Affecting her walking and indeed sleeping.
No treatment with various creams seems to have any effect. Vascular Eczema has been suggested - is this treatable? I have to say that' doctors have not offered any solution.
DM Griffin

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The answer

Dear Mr Griffin

Your wife’s symptoms suggest an issue with the circulation to her lower legs and the pain and rash may be related to this. This may be varicose eczema rather than vascular eczema, this is a type of eczema that affects the legs and like all types of eczema, the skin becomes red, flaky, scaly and itchy.  It is also known as venous eczema or gravitational eczema.

Varicose eczema usually develops in the skin over and around varicose veins. It is usually a minor annoyance and does not lead to any major problems. 

Treatment for varicose eczema involves treating both the dry skin and the underlying blood flow problem. Skin creams, lotions and emollients can help manage the symptoms and at times steroid cream or ointments may be needed. Elastic medical compression stockings, which are specially designed stockings that steadily squeeze your legs, can help to improve your circulation. These would need to be worn every day. These treatments are usually enough to control varicose eczema. However, if they are not effective or if there is lipodermatosclerosis, a more severe form of venous skin damage,  referal to a vascular specialist may be required. They can investigate and treat the underlying venous problem. Treatment of varicose veins will often cure varicose eczema, lipodermatosclerosis and venous ulcers.

I would suggest that your wife return to her Dr who will be able to review the symptoms, offer a diagnosis and then manage accordingly. 

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