Venous stasis involves an inflammation of the skin in the lower legs as a result of chronic venous insufficiency. If the valves or walls of the veins in the legs are not working properly, it is difficult for blood to circulate from the legs back to the heart. When pooled venous blood collects in the legs, it can result in skin inflammation and other complications as well. Treatment for this condition focuses on treating the underlying condition and is usually successful.
Swelling and varicose veins may arise, along with lesions that first appear on the skin as red or brown discolorations, but may then begin to scale and crust. Other symptoms may develop, including itching, aching, a feeling of heaviness in the legs or pain upon standing. Ulcers, or sores on the skin, sometimes form, especially on the inner ankles.
To make a diagnosis, your doctor will perform a physical examination and take a medical history. In some cases, testing including ultrasound imaging may be required to evaluate the blood flow through your legs.
Many cases of venous stasis can be treated through conservative methods such as elevating the leg and wearing compression garments to promote healing. Exercising regularly, losing weight and avoiding long periods of either sitting or standing often help to relieve symptoms. Sclerotherapy and endovenous thermal ablation can be used to dissolve the affected vein. For related skin issues, topical or oral antibiotics as well as topical steroid creams may be prescribed. Most cases of venous stasis can be effectively treated using noninvasive methods.