It’s not unusual for people to assume that any skin changes or changes in texture, or health are dermatological in nature. Because of this false belief, underlying vein disease often goes undiagnosed and untreated for years.
The truth is that skin discoloration, redness, and ulcerations can all result from venous insufficiency. Continue reading to learn how vein disease can lead to skin discoloration and when to see a vein specialist.
Although varicose veins and spider veins are the most-recognized sign of vein disease, other skin changes are also possible. In fact, venous insufficiency can present with redness, swelling, thickening, hardening, scaling, and ulcerations of the skin.
Additionally, vein disease can cause skin to turn brown or black. However, many individuals attribute this discoloration to another dermatological condition, unaware that vein disease is the true culprit.
Damaged valves and vein walls can allow blood to flow backwards to the legs, rather than up to the heart and lungs. When this occurs, blood pools in leg veins and, over time, pressure can build within in the vein and cause fluid to leak out. This fluid can irritate and inflame surrounding tissue, leading to swelling.
At the same time, iron (from red blood cells within the fluid) may accumulate in the skin, oxidize or rust, and turn skin black or brown. This is how vein disease can lead to patches of skin discoloration.
If you have skin discoloration on your legs or lower extremities, you should schedule an evaluation with a vein specialist as soon as possible. He or she can determine if vein disease is the underlying cause and develop a customized treatment plan.
Treatment may include elevating your legs periodically, increasing physical activity, moisturizing legs daily, and wearing compression stockings.
If you are concerned about skin changes or any other irregularities, please contact us today to schedule a comprehensive consultation with one of our highly skilled and experienced vein specialists.