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Stasis Dermatitis


Stasis dermatitis is a condition that develops when blood pools in your lower legs because of poor blood flow.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.


  • Steroid creams can irritate your skin. Pressure stockings may limit your movement. Even with treatment, your skin may look bumpy or dark. Your signs and symptoms may not go away or may return. You may get a blood clot in your leg. A blood clot can cause pain and swelling. It can stop blood from flowing where it needs to go in your body. The blood clot can break loose and travel to your lungs. A blood clot in your lungs can cause chest pain and trouble breathing. This problem can be life-threatening.
  • Without treatment, you can get sores on your legs. The sores may take a long time to heal and may cause scars. Sores and swelling may make it hard for you to do your normal activities. Pain, limited movement, and how the sores look may make you feel anxious or sad. Sores can become infected. Infection can enter your blood, which could be life-threatening.


Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

Vital signs:

Caregivers will check your blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and temperature. They will also ask about your pain. These vital signs give caregivers information about your current health.


  • 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.
  • NSAIDs: NSAID medicine decreases pain and swelling. This medicine is available without a doctor's order. Ask your caregiver which medicine is right for you and how much to take. Take as directed. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems if not taken correctly.
  • Diuretics: This medicine is given to decrease edema (excess fluid) that collects in a part of your body, such as your legs. Diuretics can also remove excess fluid from around your heart or lungs and decrease your blood pressure. It is often called water pills. You may urinate more often when you take this medicine.
  • Antibiotics: These medicines may help treat or prevent an infection. You may need antibiotics if you have leg sores.


  • Blood tests: You may need blood taken to give caregivers information about how your body is working. The blood may be taken from your hand, arm, or IV.
  • Ultrasound: This test checks the blood flow in your veins. Caregivers look for clots in the veins near the area of your pain and redness.
  • MRI: This scan uses powerful magnets and a computer to take pictures of your legs. An MRI may show if you have blood or fluid collecting in your lower legs. You may be given dye to help the pictures show up better. Tell caregivers if you are allergic to dye, iodine, or seafood. Do not enter the MRI room with anything metal. Metal can cause serious injury.
  • CT scan: This is also called a CAT scan. An x-ray machine uses a computer to take pictures of your legs. Caregivers check for problems with your blood vessels. You may be given dye to help your caregivers see the images better. Tell the caregiver if you are allergic to dye, iodine, or seafood.
  • Skin tissue biopsy: Caregivers may collect a sample of your skin. They will send the tissue to the lab for tests. Ask your caregiver for more information about skin tissue biopsy.


  • Pressure stockings: These tight elastic stockings help increase your circulation. This prevents blood from collecting in your legs.
  • Pneumatic boots: Inflatable boots are put on your legs. The boots are connected to an air pump. The pump tightens and loosens different areas of the boots. This helps improve blood flow to prevent clots.
  • Dressings: If you have open leg sores, you may need wet dressings to decrease pain and help them heal.
  • Debridement: If you have open sores with dead tissue, your caregiver may need to remove the tissue.
  • Surgery: You may need surgery to relieve pressure in your veins and help your blood flow better.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Stasis Dermatitis (Inpatient Care)

Micromedex® Care Notes