That itchy skin rash on your legs could be a sign you have varicose veins.
Veins are responsible for sending the blood from your legs back to your heart. A lot of times, this is an uphill climb. To compensate for the effects of gravity, veins use tiny valves to keep the blood flowing in the right direction. When these valves become damaged, blood flow through the veins can be inhibited. One result of this damage can be varicose veins.
Varicose veins are veins that have become enlarged or twisted. Age, sex, weight, family history, pregnancy, and sitting or standing for extended periods of time are a few of the risk factors for developing varicose veins.
With varicose veins may have a rather alarming and grotesque appearance, they do not cause problems for most people. However, some people experience pain, swelling, restless legs, cramps, and other unpleasant sensations as a result of varicose veins. Itchy skin or a skin rash on the legs is another symptom of varicose veins. Vein doctors refer to these types of itchy varicose vein-related skin rashes as stasis dermatitis or varicose eczema.
Varicose veins aren't always visible through the skin. You may have varicose veins and not even know it. If you start to develop dry, discolored, inflamed, or itchy skin on your legs, this could be a sign you have varicose veins. Skin rashes like varicose eczema occur when the damage to the vein allows fluid to leak into the surrounding skin tissue, blocking oxygen from getting to the skin. As the skin is gradually deprived of oxygen, it becomes dry and itchy, taking on a discolored and scaly appearance.
In addition to varicose veins, these types of rashes can also result from DVT blood clots, leg ulcers, an injury, or deep layer skin infections like cellulitis.
There are a variety of treatment options when it comes to relieving the irritation caused by your varicose vein eczema skin rash. The first thing you should do is consult with a dermatologist to determine the exact cause of the skin rash on your leg.
In most cases, a dermatologist will recommend a treatment program that could include:
● Lifestyle changes: losing weight, getting more exercise, avoiding standing or sitting for extended periods of time
● Emollients to prevent the skin from becoming too dry
● Antihistamines: to relieve the itching; and
● Topical corticosteroids: medicated ointments or creams to treat the rash and relieve symptoms.
If your doctor determines that varicose veins may be the underlying cause of your skin rash, they may refer you to a vascular specialist or vein doctor for further examination and treatment.
A vein doctor will be able to diagnose the severity of your varicose veins and how they could impact your health. If varicose veins are determined to be the cause of your itchy skin and skin rash, the doctor will be able to provide many different treatments.
For minor cases, a vein doctor may recommend the same lifestyle changes that your doctor or dermatologist recommended. He may also suggest that you begin wearing compression stockings, which are knee socks specially designed to improve circulation in the legs.
In more serious instances, sclerotherapy or laser treatment may be needed to seal off the veins. Surgical procedures, such as endoscopic vein surgery, are used in situations where a section of the affected vein is removed.
If you’re suffering from itchy varicose veins, give the BASS Vein Center a call. We provide patients with the latest and most effective varicose vein treatments available.