What Are Skin Changes?

Damaged or weakened veins in the body lead to poor blood flow and a range of symptoms that cause noticeable changes to the skin. When the veins are not functioning properly, blood can pool in the legs and cause the skin to become discolored, dry, itchy, and even painful. These changes can signify more serious underlying issues, such as venous ulcers or blood clots. 

Logo media
woman wearing shoes

How Skin Changes Occur

Skin changes occur in venous disease due to a pressure buildup in the veins. This pressure can cause the fluid to leak out of your veins and into the surrounding tissue, leading to swelling and inflammation. Over time, this can damage the skin and other tissues, leading to the development of skin changes. Our providers recommend you seek medical attention for any skin changes or other symptoms associated with venous disease.

Symptoms of Skin Changes

Venous disease can cause a variety of skin changes. Some of the most common skin changes associated with venous disease include:

  • Varicose veins: enlarged, twisted veins that appear blue or purple and are often raised above the skin's surface
  • Spider veins: small, thin veins that appear red or blue and are often clustered together in a web-like pattern
  • Edema: fluid buildup in the tissues causes swelling in the legs, ankles, and feet
  • Skin discoloration or hyperpigmentation: as a result of increased pressure in the veins, the skin becomes discolored, usually a brownish or reddish color
  • Skin thickening: the skin in the affected area can become thick and leathery
  • Ulcers: open sores that can be painful and take a long time to heal
  • Stasis dermatitis: a rash that occurs on the lower legs and ankles

Treatment Options

Self-Care Measures

For individuals with mild venous disease, self-care measures can effectively reduce symptoms. These measures include:

  • Wearing compression stockings to improve circulation and reduce swelling
  • Exercising regularly to improve blood flow
  • Elevating the legs to reduce swelling and discomfort
  • Avoiding standing or sitting for long periods
  • Maintaining a healthy weight

Medical Treatments

Medical treatments for venous disease may include:

  • Sclerotherapy, which involves the injection of a solution into the affected vein to close it off
  • Intermittent Pneumatic Compression Pumps - these wearable pumps help your legs circulate blood in the right direction so it doesn’t pool in your lower legs. This can help alleviate swelling and prevent skin changes.
  • Radiofrequency ablation (RFA), which uses heat to close off the vein
  • Anticoagulant medications to prevent blood clots
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce pain and inflammation
Background media

Are You Concerned About Skin Changes?

Venous disease can cause a variety of skin changes. These changes can range from mild to severe and significantly impact a person's quality of life. Early detection and treatment of venous disease can help prevent the development of more severe skin changes. Dr. Spartz of the Spartz Vein Clinic is a board-certified specialist in venous health. She offers gentle guidance and medical support to help you improve your quality of life with practical solutions to achieve healthy veins. Contact our office today if you notice any changes to your skin, so we can get you started on the ideal treatment plan.

Better skin health starts here. Schedule your appointment today.

Contact Us
Contact us media
Accessibility: If you are vision-impaired or have some other impairment covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act or a similar law, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to using this website, please contact our Accessibility Manager at 952-283-0123.
Contact Us