BY DR. COHEN
When venous insufficiency persists, untreated, for many years, the skin in the calf or ankle can become damaged. This results from chronic inflammation and the damage done by blood leaking out of the veins into the skin itself.
There are 4 types of damage
The least severe problem is what we call hyperpigmentation. When blood leaks into the skin, the iron in the hemoglobin can form a “tattoo” on the skin, turning it brown in color. When occurring alone, this isn’t serious, but it is unsightly, often permanent, and can be a warning that more severe skin damage might develop. Even if you treat your vein problem, hyperpigmentation usually does not go away. So you don’t want to wait too long to have it checked out.
A more severe kind of skin damage is called lipodermatosclerosis. This appears as a leathery thickening of the skin, often with skin scaling and associated hyperpigmentation. More than just cosmetic, this is actual skin damage and would be a good reason to seek treatment for your vein problem.
Many patients develop bluish discoloration of their ankles and feet called corona plebectasia. This typically is not actually skin damage but is due to engorgement of the veins in the foot. This can disappear with vein treatment most of the time.
The most serious kind of skin damage is a venous ulcer. When skin damage becomes really severe, the skin actually opens up into a sore, typically on the inside of the ankle or calf. This open sore usually isn’t painful but is very unpleasant and difficult to treat. Sometimes it can last for many months, even years, if not treated. The good news is that a combination of vein treatment, compression treatment, and wound care will result in healing and help to prevent recurrence.
If you are experiencing any of these leg and foot symptoms and are not sure what to do, you can arrange for a quick and easy consultation right now by calling 201-265-5300.
About us: There are 20 million Americans with vein problems that can seriously affect the quality of their lives. And as we age, they just get worse. As one of the few New Jersey medical practices committed exclusively to vein care, Advanced Vascular Vein Care is uniquely capable of alleviating those problems, whether they are medical or cosmetic. All treatments are non-surgical, usually covered by insurance, and delivered in an office setting. And we do it as it should be done – with compassion, excellence, affordability, convenience, and the personal touch. Call 201-265-5300 or visit AdvancedVascular.com for a quick and easy consultation.