Utah Skin Damage Treatment Due to Venous Insufficiency
When blood flows throughout your body, important valves in the veins keep it circulating back toward your heart. People with chronic venous insufficiency suffer weakened vein walls and damaged valves in their limbs. As a result of insufficient flow, blood collects and sits in the legs, causing pain, swelling, and unsightly inflammation and discoloration of the skin.
Patients who suffer from chronic venous insufficiency experience long-term issues related to their deep veins. Your vascular health is important, so educate yourself about VI and the various treatment methods recommended by the Vein Institute of Utah. Most importantly, understand your options for treating skin damage caused by venous insufficiency.
Causes of Venous Insufficiency
- Blood clots (DVT)
- Varicose veins
- Tall height
- Certain cancers
- Family history
- Inactivity such as sitting or standing for long periods of time
- Progesterone hormone levels (women)
- Muscle injury
- Phlebitis (swelling of a superficial vein)
Symptoms of Venous Insufficiency
While not everyone experiences all of these, observing your symptoms can help pinpoint and avoid eventual or further skin damage.
- Swelling of the legs and ankles
- Pain when moving, mainly while standing
- Cramping, aching, heaviness, or throbbing
- Itchy skin
- General weakness in the legs
- Thickening of the skin, usually on the lower leg/ankle
- Leg ulcers and slow-to-heal wounds
- Varicose veins
- A feeling of tightness in the legs
- Relief when elevating the legs
Diagnosis of Venous Insufficiency
Your doctor will take a comprehensive medical history and perform a thorough physical exam to determine if you have VI or CVI. Most likely, you’ll also have to do image testing, such as a venogram or duplex ultrasound, so your doctor can observe the structure of the blood vessels and their flow. A venogram or vein X-ray requires injection of dye into the veins for contrast imaging. By performing a number of tests, vascular experts can rule out other causes of your symptoms, such as a blood clot.
If you have broken, discolored, or hardened skin on your legs, a diagnosis may be easy to make. VI sufferers experience a variety of side effects of their condition, but sore, inflamed, discolored skin is the most visually palpable.
Skin Damage Caused by Venous Insufficiency
There are a number of recommendations your doctor will make upon a diagnosis of VI. While surgery and other methods can help improve blood flow and ease pain, there are specific remedies for treating damaged skin related to venous insufficiency. Left untreated, VI can severely affect the appearance of your legs. Take note if you are experiencing any of the following skin conditions as a result of VI.
- Hyperpigmentation or brown permanent markings
- Lipodermatosclerosis or thick, leathery, scaly hardening of the skin
- Discoloration such as black and blue marks
- Leg ulcers or open sores
Utah Skin Damage Treatment Options for Damage Caused by Venous Insufficiency
- Compression bandages or stockings. Wearing regular pantyhose or special medical support hose will improve blood flow, reduce swelling, and minimize skin problems.
- Wound dressings. Having a nurse or other professional tend to your wound by properly cleaning and dressing it can expedite recovery.
- Elevation and Exercise. By moving regularly and avoiding long periods of sitting or standing, you encourage healthy blood flow to the legs. Raising your legs periodically will also help your VI symptoms.
- Antibiotic medicines. For venous sores that are infected, your doctor may have to prescribe a round of medication.
- Other medicines. Your doctor may recommend that you take a regular diuretic, anticoagulant, pentoxifylline, or other blood medicine to keep your VI in check.
- Vein Surgery. For serious conditions, more extensive surgery may be in order.
- Skin grafts. A large leg ulcer that will not heal may respond better with more intensive Utah skin damage treatment.
The experienced doctors at the Vein Institute of Utah can recommend the best combination of methods for treating these uncomfortable, unsightly skin side effects of your VI. If you have skin damage and are in need of Utah skin damage treatment as a result of VI, fill out a contact form today.