Circulation problems lead to various issues, especially in your legs. Whether you live with diabetic neuropathy or have varicose veins, blood can pool in your legs, leading to multiple complications, including venous stasis dermatitis.
Without the proper treatment, venous stasis dermatitis leads to leg ulcers, which can cause significant problems with your overall health.
Dr. Hesham Fakhri and the Vein, Heart, and Vascular Institute team specialize in vascular problems, including venous stasis dermatitis.
Dr. Fakhri is a heart and vascular specialist who provides his patients with cutting-edge and customized treatments for vein disorders.
What is venous stasis dermatitis?
Your veins carry deoxygenated blood from your extremities and organs to your lungs, which reoxygenate the blood. The blood then travels to your heart to get pumped back into your body to supply oxygen to your tissues and organs.
When your veins don't work correctly, blood can't travel back to your lungs efficiently. It can pool in your legs, leading to problems like venous stasis dermatitis.
Venous stasis dermatitis is caused by chronic venous insufficiency. Your veins can't move blood efficiently, causing it to leak into the tissues in your lower legs and pressure your skin.
Among the issues that lead to venous stasis dermatitis are:
- Varicose veins
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Kidney failure
- Leg injuries
- Chronic leg swelling
Age is another factor in your risk of developing venous stasis dermatitis. Women are also more likely to develop this condition, as well as leg ulcers.
Leg ulcers take a long time to heal when you have venous stasis dermatitis because your circulation is impaired. You can end up with an infection or other complications.
Signs of venous stasis dermatitis
If you're at risk for venous stasis dermatitis, you should know the warning signs of the disease. Understanding what to look for helps you get treatment sooner. Common symptoms of early venous stasis dermatitis include:
In the early stages of venous stasis dermatitis, you may experience signs of skin irritation on your legs. Itching and irritation are common early signs, as is dry, scaly skin.
Your ankles typically are the first area of your legs to swell in early venous stasis dermatitis disease. As the disease progresses, the swelling may spread to your calves and the other regions of your legs.
Skin color changes
In the early stages of venous stasis dermatitis, your skin may change color, especially on the lower portion of your legs. Your skin may appear red, brown, gray, or purple, along with other spots of color.
Early in venous stasis dermatitis, your legs may feel heavy after standing for long periods. You may also have severe achiness in your legs after a long day of being on your feet.
Steps that help prevent leg ulcers
If you're already living with venous stasis dermatitis, it doesn't mean you'll have leg ulcers. Our team evaluates your condition and gives you tips to prevent leg ulcers from forming, some of which include:
- Get plenty of exercise
- Watch your weight
- Avoid standing for long periods
- Decrease your sodium intake
- Check your skin regularly
- Seek early treatment for skin changes
Another step to prevent leg ulcers is to manage any medical condition that increases your risk for venous stasis and leg ulcers. We provide the treatments you need to keep any chronic medical diseases at bay and promote healthy veins.
Call one of our offices in Wesley Chapel, Sun City Center, or Tampa, Florida, to get treatment for venous stasis dermatitis, or schedule an appointment online today.