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Gravitational and Asteatotic Eczema

  • Published: 2010-06-06 (Revised/Updated 2010-12-20) : Author: Dane S
  • Synopsis: Gravitational eczema and asteatotic eczema are two forms of eczema that many sufferers know all too well.

Main Document

Gravitational eczema and asteatotic eczema are two forms of eczema that many sufferers know all too well.

Gravitational Eczema

Gravitational Eczema is an itchy rash specific for the lower parts of the legs. It is generally associated with (and sometimes triggered by) venous diseases. This is why it is also known as venous Eczema.

What happens? It is a common fact that during walking the leg muscles should pump blood upwards. In the veins there are certain valves that prevent pooling. A clot in the leg veins or varicose veins may bring harm to the valves.

As a rule, the leg affected by such a condition is inflamed. Long standing and increases in temperature levels are likely to worsen such a condition. Eczema can be manifest in two forms: either scattered patches of damaged skin or strings of damaged skin areas arranged around the leg.

Very frequently, the itchy sensations are practically unbearable. The damaged skin is red and scaly, and could ooze, crust and crack.

Some of the most common and efficient treatments are:

A potassium permanganate solution or diluted vinegar is likely to dry up skin patches that ooze.

In order to maintain the skin on the legs supple a moisturizer is the best solution if applied frequently and preferably uninterruptedly.

The Eczema is worsened by excessive scratching. So try avoiding such a habit.

Your doctor could prescribe flucloxacillin or any other similar antibiotic in order to fight any potential associated infection.

Topical steroid ointments, applied for a few days, are of great help. Always apply them according to the recommendations of your doctor.

Asteatotic Eczema

Asteatotic Eczema is a skin condition that dries excessively the skin. It regularly leads to the creation of tiny cracks in the skin. It is a frequent condition among the elderly, especially during winter months spent indoors in environments with low humidity levels.

Usually, if patients follow the next treatment line, they will respond positively to therapy. Nonetheless, there is need to pay a lot of attention to triggering factors and to avoid them as much as possible.

Short baths with low water temperatures are a great helper. High water temperatures are likely to worsen an Asteatotic Eczema condition

Coarse skin cleansers and coarse fabrics applied directly on the skin are to be avoided

Soap should be replaced with an emollient

Topical steroid ointments should also be applied, but only on the prescription of a specialist

Remember to use moisturizers.

A quick treatment of Asteatotic Eczema involves the use of topical steroid ointments with 24- to 48-hour occlusion with polyethylene. The majority of the patients heal with mild topical steroids, but the fact depends on the severity of the Eczema, on the patient's compliance with treatment, and the reduction of contact with triggering or aggravating agents.

Generally, doctors will recommend use of moisturizers, especially petrolatum-based preparations, alone or in combination with topical steroids for mild cases.

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1 : How Eczema Develops : University of Rochester Medical Center.
2 : Gravitational and Asteatotic Eczema : Dane S.
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