Venous Stasis Dermatitis Dallas, TX
Venous stasis dermatitis is inflammation of the skin in the lower legs as a result of longstanding chronic venous insufficiency. Venous insufficiency occurs when veins and their valves are damaged and allow backward flow of blood in the veins, a condition called venous reflux. Venous reflux produces high pressure in the veins, and has been proven to be the cause of the inflammation in the skin and soft tissue surrounding these diseased veins. Over time this inflammation causes swelling, redness, and eventually fibrosis, or scarring, of the skin and soft tissue. Venous stasis dermatitis is often associated with brown pigment staining of the skin, and over time, contraction and hardening of the skin, a process called lipodermatosclerosis. These changes are usually seen in the lower leg. With further progression of this inflammatory process the skin breaks down with development of a venous ulcer.
Symptoms of Venous Stasis Dermatitis
- Thin, tissue-like texture of the skin
- Brownish stains on the skin
- Irritation or itching of the skin
- Swollen legs or ankles
- Thickening and hardening of the skin, called lipodermatosclerosis
- Red, crusted or weepy skin
- Cobblestone appearance of the skin
Diagnosis of Venous Stasis Dermatitis
This condition is usually diagnosed by physical examination, but as with other vein disorders ultrasound is often employed to determine the location and extent of the venous reflux causing this problem. Additional tests may also be recommended to exclude other diseases.
Treatment of Venous Stasis Dermatitis
Venous stasis dermatitis always indicates more advanced chronic vein disease and needs to be investigated. Ultrasound can usually pinpoint the diseased veins and is useful for diagnosing this condition and formulating a treatment plan. It is especially important with this condition to seek medical treatment, because left untreated, venous stasis dermatitis can progress to a non-healing venous ulcer.
Compression therapy is also helpful for this problem. By reducing the swelling associated with venous stasis dermatitis compression therapy can significantly improve the health of the involved skin and soft tissue. However, with venous stasis dermatitis and other forms of advanced vein disease, there is almost always significant venous reflux in the major superficial veins, that requires vein ablation for long term success. Vein ablation can be easily accomplished in the office, and is very effective at eliminating the high venous pressure causing the skin changes. You can read more about endovenous radiofrequency ablation and ultrasound guided sclerotherapy ablation procedures under the Treatment Options tab.