Ankle discoloration can signal serious vein problems. Its important to understand how varicose veins contribute to this condition. We all have veins to take the blood from our legs back up to the heart. Veins have valves to keep the blood from pooling in the lower legs. With time, these valves can become weak, allowing blood to pool in the lower legs. When this happens, the pressure in the veins goes up considerably. In the first stage, this leads to visible varicose veins. Then one notices leg swelling by the ankles. The next stage is ankle discoloration. This discoloration can be blue as capillaries dilate from the high pressure. It can be red, as the skin cracks and becomes inflamed. It can also be brown, as the skin becomes scarred over time by the inflammation from the high pressure in the veins. All of this ankle discoloration can signal serious venous disease.
Stasis Dermatitis: Irritated Skin with Wounds That Are Slow to Heal
This skin is very fragile, and can easily break down with even minor trauma. When vein problems are present, ankle wounds are slow to heal. A small wound that takes a few days or weeks to heal in normal skin, therefore can take months to heal in skin impaired by venous insufficiency due to varicose veins. Sometimes just itching the skin causes wounds to open up. This is known as stasis dermatitis.
Wounds that Never Heal
In many patients, these wounds can breakdown and not heal on their own. This is known as a venous stasis ulcer. Venous stasis ulcers can be very painful, and require painful, inconvenient and expensive on going wound care. Many people have venous stasis ulcers and are not even aware this is due to vein problems, so they continue to suffer with these wounds for years.
Varicose Vein Treatments Make a Big Difference
Treating the varicose veins with compression hose, wound care and outpatient procedures like Closurefast, Venaseal, Varithena or Sclerotherapy can significantly speed recovery for patients ranging from early ankle discoloration, to venous stasis dermatitis to venous stasis ulceration. Growing high quality evidence suggest the earlier this is done, the better the patient outcomes. These treatments are done in the office as an outpatient, and are usually covered by insurance.
Inovia Vein Specialty Centers Can Help
If you are interested in learning more about varicose veins treatment options, simply fill out our Online Appointment Request Form or call any of our clinics in Northwest Portland , Tigard, Happy Valley, Hillsboro or Bend, Oregon.