With winter fast approaching, it’s easy to assume that dry, scaly skin is a result of the change in temperature outside. Before you buy that expensive bottle of lotion, however, you may need to know that dry, scaly skin can be more than just skin deep. While it’s natural to think you should call your dermatologist when you’ve got a dry skin problem, you may actually need to call your nearest vein specialist.
Vein disease can present itself in a variety of ways, severely dry skin on the legs being one of them. While it is often overlooked or misdiagnosed, it is important to figure out if venous insufficiency is the underlying cause of your skin problem.
Veins that function properly carry blood back to the heart and valves in the veins stop the blood from flowing backward. Vein disease occurs when the valves fail to keep the blood moving back to the heart, causing blood to pool in the legs. Varicose veins and blood clots are most often to blame for this condition, and both are easily treatable by vascular specialists at USA Vein Clinics.
You may have some other symptoms in addition to dry, scaly skin. Spider veins, leg pain, tiredness, cramping, discoloration, swelling, and heaviness can present when blood is backed up and can’t get to where it needs to go. If these symptoms are not treated appropriately and timely, the skin condition may worsen, especially near the calf and ankle.
Here are three potential ways venous insufficiency can cause dry, scaly skin:
- Venous insufficiency can damage skin texture, which can lead to lipodermatosclerosis that appears as a leathery thickening of the skin, often with skin scaling and hyperpigmentation. Some patients also develop another condition called corona phlebectasia, a bluish discoloration of their ankles and feet due to the engorgement of the veins in the foot.
- Hyperpigmentation is a common condition that develops when blood leaks into the skin, and the iron in the hemoglobin turns the affected area of the skin brown in color. Hyperpigmentation is unsightly in appearance and can be a warning for more severe skin damage.
- The most serious skin damage caused by venous insufficiency is venous ulcers, developing on the inside of the ankles or calf. Venous ulcers actually result in sores on the surface of the skin.
Don’t be too quick to blame the weather for your severely dry skin. If you have noticed dry, scaly skin on your legs and moisturizer isn’t helping, you could have an underlying vein problem. It is important for you to see a specialist who can review your symptoms and help you make the right decisions for your care.
USA Vein Clinics specializes in treating venous insufficiency. Call (888) 628-9389 today to schedule a consultation with one of our leading vascular specialists. Treatments at USA Vein Clinics are covered by Medicare, most insurance plans, and Medicaid.