Stasis Dermatitis

Leaky valves in leg veins allow the buildup of a higher amount of pressure in those veins when the legs are dependent. This is known as Chronic Venous Hypertension. Chronic Venous Hypertension in turn leads to inflammation of the vein wall and surrounding soft tissues.

The increased pressure and inflammation in the veins over time can cause damage to the soft tissues surrounding the veins. This may first been seen as stasis dermatitis, a darkening, hardening, or thickening of the skin and soft tissues of the lower legs, especially near the ankles. These damaged tissues have a harder time healing if they are injured. In the most extreme cases, venous ulcers may form spontaneously in this damaged tissues. These ulcers can be difficult to heal without addressing the underlying cause of the venous hypertension. In the care of a vein specialist, however, there may be simple, office-based treatment options that can bring rapid relief.

Relieving the abnormally high pressure in the veins is the key to preventing or relieving the complications associated with Chronic Venous Insufficiency. In patients with reflux in the saphenous veins or perforator veins, sealing off the leaky vein with an endovenous thermal ablation or ultrasound guided sclerotherapy is important. This cuts off the source of the venous hypertension, allowing blood to exit the leg more efficiently rather than pooling in the diseased veins.

External support on the veins by compression stockings can help decrease the pressure within the venous system as well.  This can help an existing ulcer to heal or decrease the risk of one developing.

Venous Ulcer >>