You wouldn’t think it, but skin problems on the legs may be more than skin deep. The real problem might lie in the leg veins that pump blood back towards the heart. When these veins aren’t functioning properly and blood flows backwards — a condition called venous reflux or vein disease – blood can seep into surrounding tiny, surface veins and skin tissue. This causes skin in the lower leg and ankles to change color or look stained and become thin, dry and itchy – all symptoms of an advanced form of vein disease called venous stasis dermatitis.
Because venous stasis dermatitis is a bit of a mouthful, we refer to it as venous dermatitis here at Hamilton Vein. But it’s also known by other aliases, like congestion eczema, gravitational dermatitis, varicose eczema, and stasis eczema, to name a few. All very dermatological sounding names. And there lies the problem.
Most people end up spending years going back and forth to their doctor or dermatologist, getting temporary relief or none at all, from steroid creams and wraps. When what’s actually happening is their veins have become so dilated and stretched, the overflow blood has triggered cells in the skin to release histamine, which causes itchiness much like a mosquito bite. This itchiness can be quite severe and excessive scratching further aggravates the surface, leading to bigger problems like open sores.
Venous dermatitis is very treatable. Relief and recovery begins with an ultrasound of your veins to see where the blood flow problem is occurring exactly. Today’s image-guided, minimally invasive vein treatments close the diseased vein and reroute blood to healthier veins. When this happens your skin is able to receive fresh, oxygenated blood and all of its lovely, beneficial nutrients to start the healing process.
Hamilton Vein Center is the leader in venous dermatitis diagnosis and treatment. If you suffer from skin conditions on the leg, give us a call at 281-565-0033 and schedule an appointment. We can help.