Eczema (varicose)

Symptoms of varicose eczema

The first sign of varicose eczema is mild itchiness of your skin over and around a patch of varicose veins .

The skin then becomes speckled, scaly, inflamed and itchy. In some cases, the skin may turn brown and feel very hard to the touch.

Severe skin disease may be caused by vein problems in your leg. This usually occurs near your ankle and may extend onto your foot and as far as the mid-calf.

Read more information about the causes of varicose eczema.


In some people, the area becomes red and inflamed and can be painful. This problem is called lipodermatosclerosis.

The symptoms of lipodermatosclerosis include:

  • hard, tight skin 
  • red- or brown-coloured skin 
  • the layer of fat and soft tissues underneath the skin (subcutaneous tissue) may become hard, causing the leg to look like an upside-down champagne bottle

Leg ulcers

Vein problems may also cause a leg ulcer. This is a damaged area where the skin has broken down, forming a chronic non-healing wound.

Read more information about venous leg ulcers.

Last updated: 20 August 2014

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