We take a look at how varicose eczema affects the skin of the lower legs, and ask whether the condition is painful.
Varicose eczema is a type of eczematous skin condition that affects mainly older people; it’s caused by an issue with the pressure in the veins of the lower legs, and causes the skin to become itchy, shiny and flaky, often accompanied by a change in colour and tone of the skin.
Whether or not it’s painful depends on the severity of the eczema, and how well managed your general health is.
In some cases, there may only be mild itchiness and discomfort, with the skin uncomfortable but not painful. In more serious cases, the area can get inflamed, tight and blistered. Sometimes, the skin can be very fragile indeed, and feel hot (though it’s more the sensation of heat than being hot to the touch); in these cases it would be true to say that the eczema wasn't just itchy, but actually painful.
Managing your overall health can make varicose eczema less uncomfortable. Your doctor may suggest losing weight and exercises to improve the functioning of the veins, for example. You can also use gentle, non-irritant emollients to keep the affected area in good condition, and to prevent further damage to the skin.
For more information about how to manage skin prone to varicose or venous eczema, check out our article What’s The Best Cream For Varicose Eczema?
Recommended products for those prone to varicose eczema:
Balmonds Skin Salvation with hemp and beeswax (from £7.99 for 30ml): a rich, hydrating balm for really sore or open patches of eczema
Balmonds Daily Moisturising Cream with shea butter & hemp (from £13.99 for 100ml): a gentle unfragranced cream for maintaining dry skin in soft, hydrated conditionBalmonds Cooling Cream with menthol, aloe vera and lavender (£19 for 100ml): a lighter lotion than our Daily Moisturising Cream, with soothing botanicals to calm down hot, scaly, itchy but unbroken skin
If you require medical advice we recommend you always contact your healthcare professional.
If you or someone you are caring for seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there's something seriously wrong, call for emergency services straight away. For general medical advice, please contact your healthcare professional, this article does not contain or replace medical advice.
Do not delay getting help if you're worried. Trust your instincts.