What is the goal of treatment for stasis dermatitis?

Updated: Mar 27, 2020
  • Author: Scott L Flugman, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Although extensive work has been completed in the study of venous ulcer treatment, no large, well-controlled trials have examined the treatment of stasis dermatitis. The overall mainstay of treatment has always been aimed at lessening the clinical impact of the underlying venous insufficiency and edema, a goal that is typically accomplished with high-level compression therapy. [29, 30]

Inpatient treatment

Stasis dermatitis is typically managed in the dermatologist's office, and it does not require inpatient admission. However, it is common for patients to be admitted to hospitals for stasis dermatitis. Admission may occur because their condition becomes exacerbated, and the discomfort, itching, and swelling becomes too difficult for the patient to manage at home. It is likewise a common occurrence that patients with exacerbating stasis dermatitis are admitted to hospital services with a misdiagnosis of cellulitis. Although it may be difficult to rule out cellulitis in a patient with flaring stasis dermatitis, the presence of "bilateral cellulitis" is in most cases a bilateral exacerbation of stasis dermatitis. Considering the chronic nature of stasis dermatitis and the difficulty many patients have with complying with treatment regimens, readmissions for stasis exacerbations may be frequent. Some authors have seen reduction of hospital readmissions by the use of a stasis dermatitis order set for admitted patients. This method can standardize admitting orders to include dermatologic consultation, patient education, and training in the use of support stockings by physical therapy. [31]

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