The skin changes associated with chronic venous insufficiency are sometimes called venous stasis dermatitis and are the result of long-standing swelling and increased pressure in the veins.Eventually the constant swelling, decreased blood flow to the area, and increased pressure create a low flow area resulting in stagnation of blood and decreased movement of oxygen and nutrients to the skin. The tissue becomes damaged and the skin becomes inflamed (cellulitis). The skin eventually becomes reddish brown, hard, thick, leathery dry, and itchy.

Although treatment will probably not reverse the skin changes, treatment aimed at relieving the swelling and decreasing the pressure in the veins will improve symptoms and prevent progressions to skin ulcerations. Treatments aimed at reducing the swelling may involve a combination of treatments such as prescription drugs, compression stockings, and with endovenous laser or radiofrequency ablation.

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