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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