Everybody knows what varicose veins are and has seen the bulging enlarged veins on the legs of people (or even yourself) when not wearing long pants. What’s more important then seeing varicosities is knowing when it’s best to seek out a vein treatment center or specialist.
We are starting a three part blog about conditions which should make you more concerned about the state of your circulation.

Discoloration In Your Ankles

The darkening that can occur on the inner side of your ankles is a sign of venous insuffiency. The blood in the leg veins is not returning up towards the heart as well as it should be and is pooling at the lowest points of the leg- the ankle.

While this starts on the inner side of the ankle as it gets worse it tends to cause a permanent discoloration that can also spread to the outside of the ankle and sometimes to the entire ‘sock’ area of the legs.

Cosmetic’s is sometimes an issue for some people and once the darkened suntan like color appears it is permanent. It tends to darken with time and cover more and more of the lower leg as it progresses. It can be seen on just one leg or both of them depending on the extent of venous insuffiency in each leg.

Dr. Martin L. Schulman M.D. of the Schulman Vein And Laser Centers Of New York And Long Island New York, likes to say ‘the discoloration is like a tattoo, its there and its permanent. But unlike a tattoo the skin changes seen with varicose veins do tend to worsen by growing larger and darker over time, if left untreated’.

Medically the discoloration is known as ‘stasis changes’ or hyperpigmentation. Stasis is from the ancient Greek language meaning standing or stopping. Think of the word stationary meaning not moving or in one place. The more medical definition is a stoppage of flow of a body fluid. The term stasis changes actually could be reversed to mean changes in the legs appearance and texture, as a result of stasis.