What is ankle discoloration?
Ankle discoloration describes when the skin around your ankle becomes darker. Often, this discoloration is accompanied by swelling and pain. Stasis dermatitis is the medical term for the inflammatory condition that causes ankle discoloration.
Ankle discoloration often occurs due to vein disease. A pigment in the iron in your blood, called hemosiderin, causes the change in the look of your ankles.
When you have venous disease, hemoglobin in your blood breaks down and releases the hemosiderin deposits. Without treatment, your ankle discoloration and swelling could progress to leg ulcers and other complications like lipodermatosclerosis.
Leg ulcers, or venous stasis ulcers, are open wounds that develop at the site of faulty veins. They take a long time to heal and can be quite painful. Lipodermatosclerosis is a condition in which the fat beneath your skin starts to swell. The surrounding skin thickens as a result.
How is venous insufficiency related to ankle discoloration?
The valves within your veins act as a barrier to allow blood to flow toward your heart, but stop it from going back the wrong way. When these valves fail, blood starts to pool in the lower part of your leg. Blood can’t pump efficiently back to your heart, resulting in varicose veins and ankle discoloration.
Risk factors for developing venous insufficiency include:
- Older age
- Prior leg or vein surgery
- Being overweight
A family history of varicose veins or vein disease also increases the likelihood that you, too, will develop it.
How is ankle discoloration treated?
If you have ankle discoloration, contact Louisiana Heart & Vascular Institute Vein Care Centers to get an accurate diagnosis and to discuss effective treatment options. When ankle discoloration results from venous disease, you can receive effective treatment like sclerotherapy and endovenous ablation for faulty veins and valves. Wearing compression stockings and elevating your legs while sitting can also help you get relief.
Once these veins are eliminated, your body redirects blood flow through healthy nearby veins. Swelling, pain, and ankle discoloration fade.
Get treatment for ankle discoloration at Louisiana Heart & Vascular Institute Vein Care Centers. Call the office today or use this website to request your appointment.