Skin Discoloration

Joseph M Caruso, MD, FACS

Board Certified Vascular Surgeon located in Arlington, TX

Skin Discoloration Q & A

What is skin discoloration?

Skin discoloration — known medically as stasis dermatitis — is a condition that develops when you have poor circulation. It’s found most often on your feet, ankles, and lower legs.

Stasis dermatitis may begin as itchy, dry skin around varicose veins or irritated, red skin around your ankles. You might also notice that your legs are sore and achy or that your legs and feet swell throughout the day.

Over time, the condition spreads from your feet and ankles to your calf. Your skin becomes dry, looks shiny, and cracks and you may develop sores or ulcers on your legs.

It’s essential to get treatment as soon as you notice a change in your skin to prevent the condition from progressing and leading to infections and other complications. It’s also a warning sign of vascular health issues that need medical treatment with an expert like Dr. Caruso.

What causes skin discoloration?

As you get older, your veins lose elasticity and become weaker, which can lead to a condition called venous insufficiency, in which blood leaks backward in your veins instead of flowing steadily back to your heart. The veins in your legs have one-way valves that can trap blood, which leads to skin discoloration, varicose veins, and leg swelling.

Some of the risk factors for vascular health problems and skin discoloration include:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Medical conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes
  • Getting older
  • Multiple pregnancies
  • Standing for long periods of time
  • Not getting enough exercise

How is skin discoloration treated?

Dr. Caruso offers both minimally invasive and traditional surgical procedures to repair and open your blood vessels to facilitate efficient circulation in your legs and feet. He provides expert diagnosis using tests like Doppler ultrasounds to monitor your blood flow to identify the underlying problem before recommending the treatment he knows will best improve your vascular health.

When should I see a doctor about skin discoloration?

Skin discoloration is often a sign of vascular health issues like peripheral artery disease and venous insufficiency, so you should schedule a consultation as soon as you notice a change in the skin on your feet or ankles. Call or schedule an appointment online to meet with Dr. Caruso for expert vascular care.