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Leg discoloration and venous insufficiency

Symptoms of venous insufficiency may include areas of darkening or discoloration of the lower leg, ankle or foot called Hemosiderin Deposits. Hemosiderin is a brownish pigment caused by the breakdown of blood hemoglobin, the iron content in red blood cells. The discoloration might look like a brownish or purplish bruise or cloudy area just beneath the skin surface.

Like varicose veins, hemosiderin deposits are a sign of venous insufficiency and, like varicose veins, should be examined and treated to prevent more serious problems in the future.  Discoloration or darkening of the lower leg, ankle or foot is often an indicator of malfunctioning veins which compromise the return of blood from the leg to the heart, resulting in the pooling of blood which can eventually cause discoloration .

Most patients notice the initial build-up of non-returned blood as a sensation of heavy, tired legs at the end of the day. Over time, this build-up can result in varicose veins, spider veins, swelling, leg discomfort  and / or hemosiderin deposits.

Left untreated, venous insufficiency can become chronic venous insufficiency leading to more serious health issues including leg and foot ulcers which do not heal.  After a thorough screening and examination, to confirm the cause, hemosiderin deposits are treated using the same office-based, non-invasive, endovascular laser or radiofrequency procedures used for varicose veins. The treatment requires no down time or anesthesia and is usually covered by health insurance.  If you have symptoms, it is best to contact a specialist for evaluation and treatment.

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