Hard, Dark Skin around the Ankle could indicate Lipodermatosclerosis
- Posted on: Feb 28 2017
Because our specialty is treating spider veins and varicose veins, and because these conditions are much more common than more serious vein problems, there could be an assumption that these are the primary concerns faced by adults (primarily women). Not so. Here, we want to discuss how venous insufficiency could pose a bigger threat to health and wellness.
Lipodermatosclerosis is a dermatologic condition that occurs in the lower legs or around the ankles. The condition may also be referred to as hypodermitis sclerodermiform or sclerosing panniculitis. It is important to recognize the hardening and hyperpigmentation of the skin as an indication that venous insufficiency (and its primary symptoms of varicose veins) may be progressing. Where the initial symptoms of pooling blood are seen only in the vein, Lipodermatosclerosis occurs in the subcutaneous fat just beneath the skin. Symptoms such as swelling and redness may also occur.
Types of Lipodermatosclerosis
There are two ways in which this inflammation of subcutaneous fat tissue may occur. If the problem follows an injury or illness and involves the inner area of one or both legs, it is referred to as acute Lipodermatosclerosis. This condition may also cause tenderness and a red, scaly appearance to the affected skin.
Inflammation may also occur more gradually and may be preceded by varicose veins or even by ulcers on the legs caused by venous insufficiency, or lack of adequate circulation through the lower extremities.
Diagnosis and Treatment
To obtain an accurate diagnosis of Lipodermatosclerosis, a physician will typically request a biopsy of the affected tissue, which can be examined to identify histological changes or changes in the cells. The physical examination of surface tissue is also helpful in reaching the needed diagnosis.
Sometimes, compression therapy may improve the condition of the affected surface, aiding in the movement of blood through the lower legs. Depending on the severity of the condition, vein surgery may be the most appropriate method of care.
Schedule a Consultation
Your team at the Vein Clinic will educate you about these treatments and help you decide what will be the best plan for you. If you are interested in learning more about Varicose Veins symptoms & treatments contact us today to schedule a consultation at our Columbia, SC office.