Stasis Dermatitis

April 16th, 2013

Stasis Dermatitis is one of the most common skin conditions I encounter in both my The Woodlands dermatology and Conroe dermatology offices.  Stasis dermatitis is a red sometimes blistering rash that develops on the lower legs when there is significant edema (swelling) in the legs.  The blisters and bullae that develop on the leg consists of fluid from the lower extremity edema.  Although this rash may clinically mimic cellulitis, it is not infectious unless the blisters rupure and then becomes secondarily infected.  If left untreated, the rash in Stasis Dermatitis can spread throughout the rest of the skin which is termed an id reaction.  As the skin is all one organ, it is very important to control stasis dermatitis before it becomes infected or causes a total body rash.  Treatment of the underlying cause of the swelling by a patient’s primary care physician is of utmost importance.  There are many causes of lower extremity edema that may need to be investigated including cardiac, renal, and hepatic origins.  Compression stockings are very beneficial at reducing the swelling and ultimately resolving the rash.  Also, steroid creams used twice a day can be very helpful as well.