Are you concerned about your legs turning a reddish-brown color? This is a symptom called hemosiderin staining that could signal a problem with vein health.

As we get older, it’s normal for our skin to thin, dry out, and lose elasticity. But it can be more concerning when you notice unusual changes in color and texture on your knees, legs, or ankles. If you notice a brown discoloration on the lower legs, it could point out a problem with your veins. For this reason alone, it’s important to understand why brown skin stains appear and what you can do to treat it.

What Is Hemosiderin Staining?close-up of hemosiderin staining shows blood cells leaking through the veins and under the skin

Hemosiderin Staining occurs when red blood cells leak through the veins. Iron and other byproducts are released and show up as a brown stain on the skin. This symptom can happen for a few reasons.

What Causes Hemosiderin Staining?

Chronic Vein Disease

In addition to its unsightly appearance, Hemosiderin Staining indicates an underlying health condition. The reddish-brown discoloration on the lower legs is caused by chronic venous disease–the abnormal function of veins.

When your veins can’t pump blood back up to the heart properly, it pools in your lower legs. Symptoms start with slight skin irritations and itchiness, then manifest varicose veins. Other vein disease symptoms that can lead to brown staining are:

  • High Blood Pressure – Veins force blood through the veins and sometimes through the skin.
  • Vein Ulcers – Slow-healing or non-healing wounds.

As blood continues to pool in the veins, it’s cells break down and leak iron pigments into the skin. Over time, this shows up as a brown patches or stains on the lower leg or ankle. When unaddressed, the stain will darken and eventually may turn black. At this point, these symptoms are unfortunately permanent even when vein disease is treated. BUT! If caught early enough, chronic venous disease can be controlled and Hemosiderin staining will fade.

Sclerotherapy Staining Side-Effect

Sclerotherapy is one of the treatment options for vein disease and varicose veins. It involves the injection of a substance known as a sclerosant into the affected veins. This makes the veins reduce in size.

In some cases, this treatment may leave the patient with brown skin discoloration as a result of hemosiderin (iron) deposits. This discoloration is usually transient and disappears in a couple of weeks; however, in some people, the stain ends up being permanent.

If you are considering sclerotherapy treatment, consider the following factors that are associated with the Hemosiderin Staining side effect:

  • Dark Skin Type
  • Sensitive Skin
  • Older Patients with Fragile Veins
  • Taking Certain Medication
  • Experience of the Vein Doctor

Treating the Condition, NOT the Symptom

Most patients will go to a dermatologist or primary care physician for the skin condition, not the underlying vein disease of hemosiderin staining. As a result, they may not get an accurate diagnosis.

If you have a brown skin discoloration on the knees, lower legs, or ankles, make an appointment with a vein specialist as this could be early signs of vein disease…especially if accompanied by achy, heavy, and swollen legs.

Early treatment of your vein disease may help lighten the brown stains caused by Hemosiderin Staining, and even keep them from getting darker. Once diagnosed, the goal is to reroute the blood to healthier veins and fading unwanted veins, stains, and pains. The sooner you treat your vein condition, the better you’ll feel and the fewer complications you’ll experience.

 

At Delaware Advanced Vein Center, our medical staff has years of experience helping people with their spider and varicose veins. We would love to welcome you to our family of satisfied patients. 

Contact us today to schedule a free virtual consultation and vein evaluation.

Filed under: Varicose Veins, Vein TreatmentTagged with: , ,

Yes, men can get varicose veins too and it’s totally normal! While mostly associated with women, this vein condition is actually very common in men, particularly as they get older. Venous insufficiency is a men’s health issue that can and should be treated. 

If you’re a man with varicose veins, or know someone with vein issues, read below for some expert tips and advice to help you understand this medical condition. 

1. You’re Not Alone

It’s estimated that 40% of all men will experience varicose veins at some point in their life. In fact, roughly 30 million American men and women have this vein condition due to aging, genes, hormones, or lifestyle.

Take ease in knowing there are many other people out there in the same boat. But don’t take that to mean your veins aren’t a big concern, just that you’re in good company.

2. Know the Signs

Varicose veins are a sign that the blood flow from your legs to your heart is restricted. This can make your legs feel itchy, painful, and, if left untreated, lead to other health compilations.

In addition to swollen, discolored, and enlarged veins, symptoms of venous insufficiency include:

  • aching
  • cramping and burning
  • itching and tingling
  • pain that gets worse when standing
  • night cramps
  • swollen ankles

If you experience any of these symptoms, reach out to a specialist to learn more and to ease your discomfort. No one should have to suffer.

3. Examine Yourself

Men can get varicose veins anywhere on the body, even the scrotum. So check to see if you have any swollen veins on your testicles. Known as varicoceles, this condition can lead to lowered testosterone levels and eventually infertility. Luckily, varicoceles can be treated by surgically removing the veins. After a few treatments, testosterone levels should return to normal along with your romantic pursuits.

4. It’s Not a Cosmetic Issue

A lot of men don’t treat their varicose veins simply because they aren’t concerned with the appearance. But leaving your varicose veins untreated is actually pretty dangerous and can lead to pain, swelling, and even ulceration.

Just Picture It: Healthy veins pump blood up to your heart. If those veins don’t work properly, blood will sink and pool, resulting in twisted, swollen blood vessels. Doesn’t sound superficial, does it?

You may not care the way they look, but there are underlying health issues that need to be addressed. So it’s important to book a consultation with a vein specialist to determine the status of your vein health.

5. Change Your Habits, Change Your Life

While you can’t change your genes, hormones, or age, you can change your habits. Once you consult with a doctor about your vein health, he/she may suggest some lifestyle adjustments.

These simple changes can make a huge difference in your vein health:

  • Lose weight
  • Quit smoking
  • Move your body (walk, bike, or dance)
  • Eat more fiber, eat less salt
  • Drink plenty of water

6. Choose Health over Pride

Taking charge of your health is admirable and nothing to be embarrassed about. Varicose veins are serious and shouldn’t be put on the back burner. Even if your veins are just visible but not painful, head to a vein clinic for a diagnosis.

The earlier you catch and treat your vein problems, the easier and more comfortable life will be. Since varicose veins are so common, doctors know exactly how to treat it. No trial period, no unknowns, just a few quick treatments and you’re back at it!

 

Varicose veins won’t just go away on their own, they’ll get worse. Don’t wait. Take action now! They can be fixed with a quick, simple, and non-invasive procedure. And depending on the severity of your varicose veins, treatment will have you in, out, and back on your feet all in the same day! 

At Delaware Advanced Vein Center, our medical staff has years of experience helping people with their spider and varicose veins. We would love to welcome you to our family of satisfied patients. 

Contact us today to schedule a free virtual consultation and vein evaluation.

Filed under: Varicose VeinsTagged with: ,

If you want to ease the pain, discomfort, and visibility of your veins, you need to Improve your Vein Health.

Our veins are pretty amazing when you think about it. They move ALL our blood (over 1 gallon!) up towards the heart and lungs. But if they don’t work properly, the blood flows backward and pools, leading to large, swollen, or itchy veins.

If you experience vein discomfort like this, you’re not alone. Over 48 million men and women suffer from vein diseases like spider and varicose veins. But Good News! Not only are there treatments for it, but there are simple lifestyle changes you can make to improve your vein health.

The following lifestyle changes may help reduce the appearance of veins and improve their overall health. Seek treatment from a certified vein specialist to address your vein health concerns before the condition worsens.

1. Increase Your Physical Activity

Walking just 30 minutes a day is a great way to get moving and help the blood circulate in your legs and feet. When you walk, the muscles in your legs help push the blood through your veins, which will decrease the pressure in your varicose veins.

2. Drink Plenty of Water

When you stay hydrated, your blood tends to be thinner which makes it easier for your body to circulate. Thinner blood also makes clotting less likely to occur. Aim to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.

3. Shed A Few Pounds

Extra weight puts a strain on your heart and organs and can make varicose veins worse. Losing weight can alleviate vein-related pain and swelling as well as slow the formation of new varicose veins.

4. Easy on the Salt

Salt retains water. When you eat salty food, the extra fluid in your bloodstream makes your veins work harder. The result is a higher blood pressure and strain on the delicate walls of your veins. Try looking for low-sodium food alternatives, or use substitutes like lemon juice when you want more flavor

5. Quit Smoking

Smoking damages your lungs, wreaks havoc on arteries, and puts you at risk for many other cardiovascular issues. The chemicals in tobacco remove oxygen and thicken the blood. The Nicotine also makes your veins harden and narrow. This causes the blood to flow at a much slower pace and ultimately, damages the function of your blood vessels.

6. Raise Your Legs and Feet

Elevating your legs will keep the blood from pooling in your lower leg. This will reduce swelling and improve overall blood flow. Aim to lift your legs at the same level as your heart or higher. If it’s comfortable in your body, lay on your back and place your legs up a wall. Place a fluffy pillow under your legs or back for added comfort and support.

7. Avoid Prolonged Sitting or Standing

If your job or lifestyle involves sitting or standing for long periods of time, it’s important that you stretch. Practice bending and flexing your legs periodically to keep the blood circulating and prevent pooling. Just raising your legs up and down can help with any backed-up blood flow. When sitting, try not to cross your legs as this can further restrict blood flow to the legs and feet.

8. Ditch the High Heels

When you wear high heels, it minimizes the range of motion in your foot and ankle. As a result, your calf muscle can’t properly pump the blood back up through your veins. This can cause the blood in the leg veins to pool and manifest varicose veins. It is recommended to find a flat shoe that offers support.

 

 

When your veins are healthy and happy, they won’t be visible on the surface of your skin or cause any discomfort and pain. While lifestyle changes may contribute to improved vein health, it is not a permanent solution.

If you have experienced prolonged vein problems, consult with your doctor to find the best treatment plan for you. Vein procedures today are non-invasive and covered by most insurance companies. Make sure to find a doctor that specializes in veins to ensure you get the best results possible.

 

At Delaware Advanced Vein Center, our medical staff has years of experience helping people with their spider and varicose veins. We would love to welcome you to our family of satisfied patients. 

Contact us today to schedule a free virtual consultation and vein evaluation.

Filed under: Spider Veins, Varicose Veins, Vein HealthTagged with: , ,

These 5 Simple Steps will help you find the Best Vein Specialist to treat your varicose veins or spider veins.

Finding a skilled vein doctor can make all the difference in the quality of care and treatment you receive. Venous insufficiency is a progressive disease. When left untreated it can worsen, and in some cases, lead to blood clots and ulcers. Treating your veins with a vein specialist early on is the best way to ensure the disease does not worsen.

1. Do Your Research

To get the results you want (no more veins!), a competent vein doctor must have:

  • Board certification in specialties like internal medicine, cardiology, and interventional cardiology.
  • Professional affiliations with other medical organizations.
  • At least 10 years of experience.

While not necessary, these additional credentials can assure you will receive the best possible care:

  • Holds accreditation by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Vascular Laboratories (ICAVL).
  • Number of procedures the doctor has performed
  • Additional training the doctor has, like cardiac care
  • Any medical publications or presentations

2. Get Recommendations

People generally feel most comfortable visiting a physician who is recommended by someone they know. Ask a family member, friend, or co-worker. You can also ask trusted healthcare professionals. Reach out to your primary care physician, dermatologist, or OBGYN for a referral.

For extra credit, you can read reviews on a vein specialist’s website or social channels to see what other patients experienced.

3. Get All of Your Questions Answered

It’s important to understand what’s happening in your body and what options you have to address the issues. Make sure you have enough time with an expert to get the answers to your questions. A free consultation is a great way to ask all your questions, understand what to expect, and learn how to plan accordingly. Here are some good questions to ask.

  • If unsure of diagnosis: What else could this be?
  • What are the treatment options for your condition?
  • What are the risks and benefits of each treatment option?
  • How long is the procedure?
  • Is sedation used?
  • Is it out-patient?
  • Is there downtime after the procedure?
  • What is the healing process like?
  • Will there be scarring?

Answers will vary based on your specific condition, health status, and overall needs. As long as the medical staff explains everything clearly, you’ll be ready to walk on the path to recovery.

4. Think About Logistics

To commit yourself to the entire vein healing process, it’s important to make sure your vein specialist fits within your needs and lifestyle. Consider the following when looking for a vein doctor:

    • Multiple Locations or Primary Office. It should be close and convenient for you to visit in case you have more than one treatment.
    • Virtual Appointments. An at-home consultation to discuss your symptoms and make recommendations is convenient (especially due to the current COVID-19 pandemic).
    • Office Hours. Look at what days and times the doctor sees patients.
    • Languages. More offices are offering bilingual options, so check to see that it’s offered if you need to effectively communicate.
    • Online Portal. Many doctors now use email or an online portal to communicate with patients, which may be another item of importance for you when selecting a physician.
    • Medical Staff. Courteousness of scheduling, the professionalism of nurses, PA’s, techs, etc.
    • Insurance. Check with the doctor’s insurance representative to see if you can get coverage. Most major insurance companies will cover vein treatment. 

5. Follow Your Instinct

After you’ve done your research and asked your questions, go with what your gut tells you. At the end of the day, you need to be comfortable with the office you choose and confident that the doctor is qualified and cares for you and your overall health.

Today, patients have many options to find the best vein doctor. The internet and social media play a big part when choosing the right fit for your needs. When you do find a vein specialist that checks all the boxes, make sure you review or offer a recommendation so others can benefit. Help other patients locate good doctors by raving about the ones who deserve it.

 

 

At Delaware Advanced Vein Center, our medical staff has years of experience helping people with their spider and varicose veins. We would love to welcome you to our family of satisfied patients. 

Contact us today to schedule a free virtual consultation and vein evaluation.

Filed under: Vein Doctor, Vein TreatmentTagged with: , ,