Why Are My Legs Changing Colors? Skin Changes Secondary to Venous Insufficiency

Do you or a loved one have discoloration to your lower legs? If so then you might have vein disease. Venous insufficiency is a problem with the structure of the veins. The veins in the body are responsible for transporting blood back to the heart from the legs and arms. In order to accomplish this task veins have small one way valves in them to help prevent reflux of the blood back down to the feet. Essentially they act like barriers to prevent the blood from falling back down into the legs and feet. When one suffers from venous insufficiency these valves no longer work and therefore the blood pools into the legs and feet of the patient. This can lead to changes in the skin called hyperpigmentation. The brownish tint is due to hemosideriin deposits. Hemosiderin deposits are a results of red blood cells releasing their iron and subsequently the iron seeps into the skin. This chronic swelling can also lead to ulcerations in the skin which can possibly lead to infection. The wounds develop because the swelling in the legs stretches out the skin and then develops an ulcer.

The way we can reduce these changes in the leg is by helping the veins pump the blood back up to the heart. The simplest way is to elevate the legs above the level of the heart. Using gravity to move the blood back up to the heart is very effective but can be short lived. Compression stockings can be used to help pump the blood out as well. Although they are very uncomfortable initially, with time and persistence they become very easy to handle. If you have trouble putting on your compression stockings then you can easily purchase a donning device which is used to make the job of putting on compression stockings easier. There are many varieties of stocking donning devices so choose one that you feel comfortable with. Medical supply stores will have a few on hand for your to try in your local stores. The doctors of Advanced podiatry are very good at identifying and treating vein disease. We are also excellent at treating any type of ulcer of the lower extremity. If you or a loved one suffer from vein disease and discoloration of the legs then please call (813) 875-0555 to make an appointment with the highly qualified doctors of Advanced Podiatry.