If you are dealing with varicose veins on your legs, you are not alone. In fact, up to 55% of women and up to 45% of men have varicose disease, and of those people, up to 25% of women and 15% of men have visible varicose veins. Varicose veins are not life-threatening, but they do look terrible. However, some issues are more prevalent in people with varicose veins than in people that do not have them. Lipodermatosclerosis is one of the conditions that are more common in people suffering with varicose. Learn more about the skin that you may see hardening around your ankles and why it could be caused by varicose veins.
What Is Lipodermatosclerosis?
Lipodermatosclerosis is a type of panniculitis, a form of inflammation in the subcutaneous fat beneath the skin. Many people that have varicose veins (veinous insuffiency) also have the symptoms of lipodermatosclerosis. Most of the people with this condition are also suffering from obesity and are middle-aged. The symptoms of this condition include
- Pain in the lower legs
- Redness in the lower legs above the ankles
- Hardening of the skin
- Swelling due to fluid (edema) in lower legs
- Changes in skin pigmentation, usually the appearance of white spots resembling scars
- Ulcers on the lower legs
The Impact of Untreated Varicose Veins
While varicose veins are not life-threatening, they can bulge and leak blood into the subcutaneous fat underneath the skin. When blood leaks into the subcutaneous fat, it creates inflammation, which is the reason this condition is painful. The same inflammation can also impact the outer layer of skin, causing the painful redness associated with this condition. Many people that undergo treatment for varicose veins do not experience the painful side effects of lipodermatosclerosis.
Common Treatments For Lipodermatosclerosis
Liposdermatosclorosis cannot be cured, and the pigmentation it causes is permanent. However, having your varicose veins treated can help to reduce the severity of lipodermatosclerosis symptoms. Your doctor may prescribe special compression stockings for you to wear, and he or she will explain to you about the importance of keeping the affected skin clean and properly moisturized. Some of the treatments for varicose veins include
- Surgery: Only for large veins, their removal being done with a laser.
- Stripping/litigation: Involves the removal of a vein after tying it off.
- Sclerotherapy: Involves a special chemical being injected into affected veins for scarring and closing them.
Discussing the best vein treatment for you with your physician is the best course of action, especially if you are dealing with the symptoms of lipodermatosclerosis. Remember to take the time to rest and to elevate your legs in order to reduce the swelling and pain. Talk to an organization such as Carolina Vein Institute for more information about these conditions.