Itchy legs is a commonplace symptom that is sometimes incorrectly diagnosed as dry skin. If you have varicose veins in your legs, dermatitis may affect your lower leg or ankle, resulting in an itchy rash. Left untreated, dermatitis can cause bleeding or skin ulcers (sores) if the skin is scratched or irritated.
According to MedlinePlus, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine, some people with venous insufficiency develop stasis dermatitis. What happens is that blood pools in the veins of the lower leg. Fluid and blood cells then leak out of the veins into the skin and other tissues.
This may lead to itching, which causes more skin changes over time — some even permanent:
- Thickening and hardening of the skin on the legs and ankles (lipodermatosclerosis)
- A bumpy or cobblestone appearance of the skin
- Dark brown color
Skin sores (ulcers) may develop (called a venous ulcer or stasis ulcer). These most often form on the inside of the ankle. The photograph on this page shows a red to brownish discoloration just above the ankle, known as stasis dermatitis. It results from decreased blood flow.
If you have itchy legs, and you suspect it may not simply be dry skin, call Bunker vein at (512) 726-0599 or request an appointment online for a free screening.