Vein disease is a progressive condition that starts when a problem with a vein causes blood flow to become sluggish. That prevents your circulatory system from supplying your body with adequate oxygen and other nutrients. If not treated, it can cause significant health problems, including skin ulcers, abscesses, and bone infections.
At Dallas Vein Institute and Texas Vascular Institute, with locations in Dallas and Hurst, Texas, interventional radiologist and vascular specialist Dr. Dev Batra understands the severity of vein disease in all its forms. That’s why he focuses on offering comprehensive treatment options and providing solutions that bring relief.
Venous stasis dermatitis is a late stage of vein disease that’s not as well known as some others — like varicose veins — so Dr. Batra and our team have put together this guide to help you understand the five things that put you at risk for it.
Before you can understand venous stasis dermatitis, you have to understand the stages of vein disease that precede it. It all starts with a condition called venous insufficiency.
The veins are the part of your circulatory system that returns deoxygenated blood to the lungs to pick up more oxygen. Since blood flows against the pull of gravity, the veins contain one-way valves that snap shut after the blood passes through to ensure the blood moves forward.
Whether due to injury, or more likely to high blood pressure, the vein walls can weaken, which can also damage the valves. Unable to close fully, they allow the blood to flow backward, become sluggish, and pool in the vein. That is venous insufficiency.
If the superficial veins are involved, they engorge with blood and form colored and ropy protrusions on the legs — varicose veins. While many people consider them a cosmetic issue, they can cause swelling, itching, and burning and may even lead to clots in the deep leg veins, a condition known as deep vein thrombosis.
The clots further restrict blood flow in the limb and can be potentially life-threatening if all or part of the clot breaks off and becomes lodged in your lung.
Vein engorgement, whether in the superficial or deep veins, can lead to painful edema (leg swelling). And if you don’t treat the edema, it can lead to venous stasis dermatitis, which changes both the color and appearance of the skin.
Early symptoms include orange-brown spots, sometimes referred to as cayenne pepper spots. They develop when pressure from the edema causes capillaries to burst. When the hemoglobin within the capillaries breaks down, it releases a pigment that discolors the skin on your lower legs and ankles, turning it red or brown. You may also notice:
A severe case of stasis dermatitis can cause permanent skin changes.
Along with the earlier forms of vein disease, the five things that put you at risk include:
You’re also more at risk if you’re over 50, and women are more likely to develop it than men due to pregnancy, which increases pressure on the veins in the legs.
At Dallas Vein Institute and Texas Vascular Institute, we offer several treatments to eliminate your diseased veins. These include:
This medical-grade injectable adhesive seals the diseased veins, which then die off. Blood is shuttled to nearby healthy veins.
ClosureFast is an endovenous radiofrequency (RF) ablation treatment. The RF energy forces the vein walls to collapse. Again, blood is rerouted to nearby healthy veins.
For regular sclerotherapy, Dr. Batra injects a solution into the diseased vein, irritating the lining and causing the vein to scar and collapse. With ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy, Dr. Batra adds a gas to the sclerosing agent and then injects the foam-sclerosant blend into your vein.
The gas acts as a marker that can be seen with ultrasound, allowing him to target a specific part of the vein. And the foam allows for even distribution, producing optimal results. After the injection, the vein collapses.
If you have signs of vein disease, it’s essential to come to Dallas Vein Institute and Texas Vascular Institute for an evaluation and treatment before you reach a stage that puts your health at risk. Give the office a call at either of our locations or book your appointment online today.