Venous insufficiency is the weakening or absence of valves in the veins of the lower extremities. Without healthy valves, blood isn’t moved back up toward the heart efficiently. This can lead to blood collecting in the legs, potentially leading to any number of other health complications. Your doctor may order additional tests for this condition after noticing common symptoms.
Common Symptoms of Venous Insufficiency
Some of these signs may seem mild at first and then worsen with time. It’s essential to communicate anything you experience with your doctor, even if you aren’t sure what it means.
- Itchiness: As the legs swell, the skin will stretch and lead to excessively dry skin and itchiness.
- Swelling: Because veins can’t pump blood back up toward the heart efficiently, it will pool in the legs, causing edema.
- Muscle Tightness or Cramps: The occasional muscle cramp is common even in healthy individuals. In those with venous insufficiency, leg cramps are more frequent and painful.
- Throbbing Pain: Typically related to the edema, throbbing pain may be isolated to the feet and ankles or more widespread, affecting the legs as well.
- Varicose Veins: Most varicose veins are harmless, but they may also indicate a more serious underlying health condition such as venous insufficiency.
In addition to the symptoms above, significant changes could affect the skin. Not everyone will experience all these changes, or you may experience ones not listed here. If you are experiencing anything unusual, you should let your physician know as soon as possible.
- Color: Color changes in the skin are a common symptom of venous insufficiency, typically occurring around the ankles.
- Thickening: Also called pachydermia, this skin thickening looks like abnormal scaling.
- Ulcers and fissures: Breaks in the skin could be caused by bacterial growth, skin friction, pressure from clothing or bandages and may have other causes as well.
- Growths: There are several types of growths common with this condition, some benign and some with the potential for malignancy.
- Hemosiderin staining: When red blood cells break down below the skin, the released iron causes permanent staining, making it appear blotchy.
While it is a serious condition, venous insufficiency can be managed with diligent care. Progression of the disease may be slowed if diagnosed early and with the correct treatment. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, contact Dr. Benvenisty today.
Posted on behalf of
440 West 114th St, Second Floor
New York, NY 10025
Phone: (212) 523-4706
Monday & Friday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM