Ankle Discoloration

Michael D Landau, MD -  - Vein Specialist

Vein Care Medical Center

Michael D Landau, MD

Vein Specialist & Varicose Vein Specialist located in Beverly Grove, Los Angeles, CA & Walnut, CA

Ankle discoloration is a circulatory problem that typically arises when you have a condition called venous insufficiency. If you have ankle discoloration, Michael D. Landau, MD, at Vein Care Medical Center in Beverly Grove and Walnut, California, can help. Dr. Landau is an expert in vein diseases and conditions like venous insufficiency and provides the most advanced forms of treatment for problem veins, including endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) and radiofrequency ablation (RFA). Call or send an email to Vein Care Medical Center today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment.

Ankle Discoloration Q & A

What is ankle discoloration?

Ankle discoloration is a condition in which the skin on and around your ankle looks darker than the rest of your skin. You might also notice swelling in your ankles and marks on your skin if you wear socks. These symptoms indicate vein disease and are often due to venous insufficiency.

The areas of discolored skin are called hemosiderin deposits. Hemosiderin is a pigment that comes from the iron in your blood. It’s released when the hemoglobin in your blood, which contains red blood cells, breaks down.

Left untreated, ankle discoloration could lead to the development of more serious problems like venous stasis ulcers and lipodermatosclerosis. Venous stasis ulcers are open wounds that are difficult to heal. Lipodermatosclerosis causes swelling of the fat under your skin, thickening of the skin, and can also lead to ulcers.

What causes discolored ankles?

Discolored ankles are most often due to venous insufficiency. This is a circulatory problem in which the veins in your legs can’t pump blood back up to your heart very well. The blood flow in your leg veins is one way, back towards your heart.

Acting like small doors, valves in the superficial veins prevent blood from going the wrong way, but they can sometimes get weak or suffer damage. Blood can then go back the wrong way, causing poor circulation and often leading to varicose veins as well as discolored ankles.

Age is the most common reason for venous insufficiency, with most patients who have the condition being in their 40s or older. There are other risk factors that increase your chances of developing venous insufficiency, including:

  • Leg surgery
  • Vein surgery
  • Traumatic injury
  • Deep vein thrombosis

Ankle discoloration is a common symptom that can be a serious problem in older people. Studies estimate that 15 million-20 million Americans over 50 have ankle discoloration, making it a significant health issue.

How is ankle discoloration treated?

Treating ankle discoloration aims to address the underlying cause, which is most often venous insufficiency. The best way to improve your circulation is to remove or destroy the faulty veins so that blood flows through stronger, healthier veins.

At Vein Care Medical Center, Dr. Landau employs endovenous thermal ablation using either EVLA or RFA to treat patients with venous insufficiency. EVLA and RFA are the leading approaches to dealing with damaged veins. There’s no invasive surgery involved in this virtually painless procedure, and the results are immediate.

EVLA uses cutting-edge laser energy and RFA uses advanced heat energy to seal the affected veins. Over time, the sealed veins break down and your body absorbs them. Dr. Landau can also treat you if you develop leg ulcers as a result of ankle discoloration.

If you have discolored ankles, it’s best to find out why and let Dr. Landau treat the cause before your symptoms worsen. Call or send an email to Vein Care Medical Center today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment.