Dermatology Made Easy is based on the most popular topics from DermNet NZ's vast array of material. The book combines the essential focus of the ‘Made Easy’ book series with the authority and knowledge base of DermNet NZ's unparalleled resources.
Author: Dr Amanda Oakley MBChB FRACP, Dept of Dermatology Waikato Hospital, Hamilton, New Zealand, 2004. Reviewed and revised, May 2014.
Most often, a rash affecting the lower legs is a type of dermatitis. The terms ‘dermatitis’ and ‘eczema’ are often used interchangeably. Acute dermatitis presents as red, swollen and blistered plaques. Chronic dermatitis accompanied by rubbing and scratching results in darkened (hyperpigmented), and thickened (lichenified) plaques.
There are several different types of lower leg dermatitis, which is common at all ages:
Scaly conditions affecting the lower legs include:
Other red or purplish conditions favouring the lower legs include:
Management depends on making a correct diagnosis. General advice should include:
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