Causes of Discolored Legs

Are you living with swollen ankles or embarrassing discoloration on your legs? These could be signs of a vein condition called venous stasis dermatitis.

Also called venous eczema or stasis dermatitis, this condition develops when blood pools in the veins of your legs. Pressure builds and blood can’t flow back to your heart properly. Skin develops unsightly discolored patches, and you might find yourself covering up and dreading the thought of wearing shorts. 

The doctors at Hamilton Vascular are here to help. Our team specializes in diagnosing and treating vein conditions so you can live an active life with less embarrassment and less pain. If you’re bothered by discolored legs, it’s time to learn more about what you can do about it.

Circulation problems and leg discoloration

Blood vessels run throughout your body, with arteries delivering oxygen-rich blood to your organs, muscles, and tissues, and veins transporting oxygen-depleted blood back to your heart. Circulation issues can arise when your veins don’t effectively return blood to your heart.

The veins in your legs have one-way valves to help blood flow up to your heart. But age, strain, and other issues weaken the valves over time. When blood can’t flow from your legs to your heart, pressure and fluid build up in your veins.

Blood can seep out of your veins and into your skin, causing it to change color. It’s also possible that circulation problems can stop skin from getting enough blood or oxygen and cause discoloration.

You may be more likely to suffer from leg discoloration if you have other health conditions, such as:

Previous surgery or injury in the affected area can damage veins and cause skin discoloration, too. Pregnancy also puts extra strain on veins, so women who’ve had several pregnancies may be more likely to develop leg discoloration.

Signs of venous stasis dermatitis

Leg discoloration can impact your confidence, but it’s usually not the only symptom of venous stasis dermatitis. The condition generally begins with noticeable swelling around your ankles, and related symptoms can be painful and even affect your quality of life.

Other common symptoms of venous stasis dermatitis include:

Discoloration caused by venous stasis dermatitis often appears as reddish, yellowish, or brownish patches of skin around your ankles or your calves. If you have varicose veins, these are often visible underneath your skin, and they look purplish or bluish. 

At Hamilton Vascular, our team is proud to offer the latest in vein treatments for leg discoloration and other symptoms of venous stasis dermatitis. When you come to Hamilton Vascular for care, we begin with a comprehensive review of your medical history and your symptoms.

Some patients find that implementing healthier lifestyle choices, such as eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise, can relieve symptoms of vein problems. If you’re overweight, losing extra pounds to achieve a healthier body size can improve circulation and reduce symptoms.

Our top treatments include radiofrequency ablation, sclerotherapy, and phlebectomy. Each treatment can benefit people with vein conditions, and we’ll work with you to determine the right course of treatment for you.

You don’t have to live with embarrassing leg discoloration -- we can help. We have offices in Round Rock, Stone Oak, Sugar Land, and Webster, Texas. Call the Hamilton Vascular office nearest you to schedule your first appointment.

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