Why Do Varicose Veins Itch?

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why do varicose veins itch blog article cracked dry skin due to vein disease

The feeling won’t go away

You’re at work and you just can’t focus because your legs have been itching all day. No matter how much lotion you apply, the feeling just won’t go away. Sometimes it comes in waves and seems like a creeping sensation on the back of your calf, other times it sends shivers down your spine. You remember that it was mild a few months back, but now it’s become a constant, nagging reminder that you need to get treatment.

People experience vein disease symptoms differently. Some will experience numerous symptoms, and others may not feel anything. If your veins itch or burn, here’s information about what causes this to happen and what you can do to treat the cause.

What is stasis dermatitis?

Stasis dermatitis is a type of skin inflammation commonly found in your lower legs because that’s where your blood can collect. This skin condition is caused when you suffer from venous insufficiency, also known as vein disease. In addition to painful symptoms, some people with vein disease may experience skin issues such as hyperpigmentation, scaling, itching, and even ulceration. The treatment of this condition is directed toward treating the underlying issue before it gets worse. [1, 2, 3]

But before moving ahead with stasis dermatitis, let’s understand more about vein disease—one of the main reasons why stasis dermatitis happens.

What is vein disease?

Your veins are responsible for taking oxygen-depleted blood back to your heart. The valves in your vein prevent the blood from flowing backward. So when these valves don’t work properly, your veins will struggle to send deoxygenated blood back to your heart. Instead, these failed valves will let the blood flow backward—and that’s when your blood starts getting pooled.

So when the valves in your veins don’t work properly, chronic venous insufficiency or CVI happens.

When your veins start pooling or collecting blood in your lower legs, they’ll feel an increased blood pressure. With the increased pressure on your veins, you’ll damage your capillaries. Once your capillaries get damaged, your proteins will start leaking inside your tissues. This leakage, in turn, causes blood cells, proteins, and fluids to build up; this buildup leads to peripheral edema—excessive swelling in legs. [3]

If you have stasis dermatitis, you may experience swollen feet and legs. In severe cases, stasis dermatitis can progress to ulcers (open, non-healing sores) and you may get itchy, reddish tinted skin.

How stasis dermatitis is different from ulcers?

If your stasis dermatitis is chronic (that is, affecting you for a long period), you may notice your skin in the affected area becoming cracked or broken. When your skin cracks or break downs, you’ll form open sores or wounds.

A recent study about stasis dermatitis and ulcers, has proven that stasis dermatitis may easily progress to a long-term non-healing wound if left untreated.

Now that you know exactly how stasis dermatitis leads to the formation of ulcers, it’s time to dive deep into the most common signs of stasis dermatitis.

Common signs of stasis dermatitis

Most people are afflicted by stasis dermatitis in their lower legs. You may notice the following symptoms in one or both of your legs.

  • Aching or heaviness in your legs when you walk or stand for a longer time period
  • Swelling in your ankles by the end of the day
  • Visible, raised veins in your legs
  • Dry, itchy skin in the affected area
  • The skin may start feeling irritated—swollen, red, and sore

Once this skin condition progresses, you may see the following symptoms and signs.

  • Dry, itchy, cracked skin
  • Swelling spreads to the calf
  • Ulcers or sores leak fluid when they’re healing
  • You may see open sores having a violet or red color; these open sores may appear on your lower legs or on around your ankles

In severe cases of stasis dermatitis, the skin of your lower leg may become extremely itchy and hard. Eventually, if this skin condition is left untreated, the skin of your lower leg may also get highly prone to infections. In some cases of stasis dermatitis, a patient’s calves may shrink as well.

The bottom line: You have to treat your condition by resolving the underlying cause of venous insufficiency. This will help stop your symptoms of itching or burning and will prevent non-healing venous ulcers from developing.

And when it comes to completely treating venous insufficiency, it comes down to USA Vein Clinics. Being a top vein treatment center, our clinic has helped more than 100,000 patients win their battle against vein conditions.

USA Vein Clinics: Giving a safe way to treat venous insufficiency

Since 2005, USA Vein Clinics has successfully helped patients suffering from venous insufficiency lead a healthy life. Being the largest vein clinics in the United States, our clinics deliver high-quality varicose and spider vein treatment, as well as venous leg ulcer treatment. The best part is that every procedure is minimally invasive, performed in an outpatient setting, and is approved by the FDA.

If you are suffering from a form of venous insufficiency, a vein doctor at USA Vein Clinics will definitely help. Book an appointment online or call 888.768.3467 for any further assistance.

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