Ankle Discoloration

Vascular Specialists

Vascular Surgeons located in Tinley Park, IL & Evergreen Park, IL

If the skin on your ankles is getting darker, it could be a sign of vascular disease. Ankle discoloration, swelling, and discomfort are symptoms that need the expert attention of the team at Vascular Specialists in Tinley Park, Illinois and Munster, Indiana,. The team of experienced vascular physicians and staff deliver the most advanced forms of treatment for conditions that cause ankle discoloration. Call Vascular Specialists today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.

Ankle Discoloration Q & A

What is ankle discoloration?

Ankle discoloration or hyperpigmentation is a condition where your skin darkens around your ankle. Accompanying symptoms like swelling and flesh that marks easily are also common when you have ankle discoloration.

These symptoms are usually signs of vein disease, such as venous insufficiency. The discoloration comes from hemosiderin, which is a pigment found in the iron in your blood. 

The hemosiderin deposits that cause ankle discoloration come from a breakdown of hemoglobin in your blood that develops when you have venous disease.

Without treatment, ankle discoloration could develop into serious conditions such as venous leg ulcers and lipodermatosclerosis. 

Venous leg ulcers are painful open wounds that can be very slow to heal. Lipodermatosclerosis causes swelling in the fat beneath your skin that leads to thickening. It can also cause ulcers.

What causes ankle discoloration?

The most likely cause of ankle discoloration is a condition called venous insufficiency. Inside your veins, you have valves that act as a barrier to allow blood to flow toward your heart, but stop it from going back the wrong way.

If these valves are faulty or weak, blood can start to pool, and it’s harder for your veins to pump blood back up to your heart. The resulting poor circulation leads to problems like varicose veins and ankle discoloration.

Venous insufficiency is more likely to be a problem as you get older, and most patients who have it are over 40. 

Other risk factors that increase your chances of developing venous insufficiency include having a previous leg or vein surgery, traumatic injuries, and deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

How is ankle discoloration treated?

If you have ankle discoloration, contact the Vascular Specialists team for accurate diagnosis and to discuss effective treatment options. Ankle discoloration is often a result of venous disease — when your veins fail to properly return blood to your heart. Instead, the blood pools in your legs. 

The expert team can identify incompetent valves and treat them with minimally-invasive therapies that include sclerotherapy and endovenous ablation. Once the faulty veins are eliminated, they’re absorbed by your body and blood is directed to numerous other healthy veins.

If you have ankle discoloration, call the Vascular Specialists office nearest you today or book an appointment online.