The eczema associated with venous disease has a similar appearance to that elsewhere on the body: only the cause is different.
It is thought that the excessive pressure exerted on superficial veins when venous valves are leaking is the prime cause. The higher pressure eventually leads to fluid leaking out through the fine vein walls, and this may show as mild swelling of the ankles and feet. Together with this fluid, various proteins may also cross the vein walls into the surrounding skin, and these proteins are responsible for the eventual irritation and eczema.
Although the eczema will respond well in the short term to standard treatments such as steroid creams or ointments, cure of the eczema requires appropriate treatment of the underlying venous disease.
Repeated bouts of eczema are often associated with deterioration of the skin, and eventual ulceration.