Longstanding history of vein disease, also known as chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), can lead to skin changes that result in discoloration of the lower leg, also known as hyperpigmentation, which appears as a darkening of the skin. In some people, it may even appear as a rusty, orange color.
These skin changes are caused by inflammation of the skin that develops as a result of poor circulation. The skin may appear darker than usual, or red and irritated. Some people notice their skin becoming thick, rough or even scaly in texture. These skin changes are usually seen in the lower legs mainly because gravity is at work with the back flow of blood. The irritated skin can also be quite painful and itchy.
Stasis dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin, caused by damage to the veins closer to the skin’s surface. Symptoms include a red, violet, or brown rash on the skin between the ankle and the knee.
Cellulitis is an infection of the superficial and deep layers of the skin, caused by bacteria. Bacteria are normally present on the skin’s surface, but when the skin is injured, bacteria can spread and grow beneath the surface, which is exacerbated by the poor blood flow in the feet and legs. Stasis dermatitis is also a precursor for the development of cellulitis and can result in hospitalization to treat with intravenous antibiotics.
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