WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Stasis dermatitis is a condition that develops when blood pools in your lower legs because of poor blood flow.
- Anti-itching medicine: This helps decrease itching. It may be given as an IV, shot, pill, or cream.
- Steroids: These help decrease redness, pain, and swelling. They are usually given as a cream you put on your skin.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medicine may decrease swelling and pain or fever. This medicine can be bought with or without a doctor's order. This medicine can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your primary healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow the directions on it before using this medicine.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your primary healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
- Apply unscented lotions or creams: These will help keep your skin moist and decrease itching.
- Elevate your legs: Raise your legs above the level of your heart as much as possible. Prop your legs on pillows while you are lying down. Try to elevate your legs several times a day for 30 minutes each time. You may want to sleep with your legs propped on a pillow.
- Wear pressure stockings: These tight elastic stockings help increase your circulation. This prevents blood from collecting in your legs.
- Do not scratch: Scratching can break open your skin. This can lead to sores or an infection.
- Maintain a healthy weight: This will help increase your circulation. Talk to your primary healthcare provider if you need to lose weight.
- Exercise regularly: Exercise makes the heart stronger and can help your blood flow better. It can also help you maintain a healthy weight. Talk to your primary healthcare provider about the best exercise program for you.
Contact your primary healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever.
- Your pain is not getting better, even with treatment.
- You have new or worse open sores.
- Your sores are draining pus.
- You have questions about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- Your leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
- You suddenly feel lightheaded and have shortness of breath.
- You have chest pain. You may have more pain when you take a deep breath or cough. You may cough up blood.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.