Circulation issues in your lower legs often stem from the failure of valves located along a vein’s length. These valves support the forward movement of blood during its journey back to the heart and lungs. In your legs, veins are often working against the force of gravity, placing extra pressure on venous valves. When pressure becomes excessive, valves can fail.
Problems that arise because of vein failure include edema, the retention of fluid that causes ankle swelling, and varicose veins. Your skin can suffer from these circulatory issues, creating a condition called stasis dermatitis.
Since this is an issue that involves both veins and skin, a visit to MD Vein and Skin Specialists is your ideal choice in Columbia, Maryland. Dr. Clement Banda is an industry-leading dermatologist and phlebologist, uniquely qualified to assess and treat stasis dermatitis and its related conditions. Are you at risk? You have options for both prevention and treatment.
Signs of stasis dermatitis
You’ll likely be aware of problems with your legs prior to the emergence of stasis dermatitis. Edema is often an early symptom of leg vein issues, with swelling of the ankles and lower legs being the most common. Swelling may ease overnight and return as you spend time on your feet during the day.
The presence of spider and varicose veins is also an indication of valve failure. These get their characteristic red, blue, and purple appearances from blood that pools due to the failure of one or more vein valves.
You may experience itchiness in the affected area, and the skin starts to change in appearance as stasis dermatitis develops, getting thicker and changing color to shades of red, yellow, or brown. Left untreated, you could develop oozing, crusty sores leading to overt venous ulcers eventually.
Are you at risk?
Stasis dermatitis, edema, and spider and varicose veins are all symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency. This may arise from conditions such as long hours in seated or standing positions, such as with certain jobs. Veins depend on regular muscle contractions in the legs to assist the upward flow of blood.
However, congestive heart failure that involves the right ventricle contributes to fluid accumulation in the peripheries, your arms and legs, so stasis dermatitis may result from this condition as well. Skin issues are also connected with high blood pressure and a history of blood clots in the legs. You may also suffer from stasis dermatitis if you have problems with your lymphatic system, a condition called lymphedema, or fluid retention in the lymphatic system.
You’re more likely to develop stasis dermatitis if you’re:
- Over the age of 50
- Suffering from kidney failure
Not everyone who is at risk or suffering from contributing conditions will develop skin issues, but anything that negatively affects your circulatory system could increase the risk.
Contact MD Vein and Skin Specialists to discuss your concerns with Dr. Banda. You can book a consultation by phone or using the convenient online link. Treatment can make you more comfortable, and ignoring the underlying causes of stasis dermatitis can be dangerous. Make an appointment now.