Read about our COVID-19 policies that keep you and our staff safeSee Policies

“What is Lipodermatosclerosis? Lipodermatosclerosis, also known as stasis dermatitis, is a chronic skin condition that primarily affects the lower legs. If you suffer from painful, swollen legs that feel heavy and discolored, you may be experiencing lipodermatosclerosis. This condition is closely associated with venous insufficiency, a condition where the veins in the legs are unable to efficiently return blood to the heart.

Lipodermatosclerosis is characterized by inflammation of the subcutaneous fat, the layer of fat beneath the skin. This inflammation can lead to fibrosis, or the formation of excess connective tissue, which further contributes to the thickening and hardening of the skin. Over time, this can result in the legs feeling firm, tight, and discolored, often with a reddish-brown or purple hue.

The symptoms of lipodermatosclerosis can vary, but commonly include pain, tenderness, and a sensation of heaviness in the affected areas. The skin may appear shiny and taut, and there may be visible redness, swelling, and the formation of varicose veins. In some cases, ulcerations or open sores may develop, which can increase the risk of infection.

It is important to consult a healthcare professional if you suspect you may have lipodermatosclerosis. They can provide an accurate diagnosis and recommend appropriate treatment options, which may include compression therapy, elevation of the legs, and medications to reduce inflammation and improve venous circulation. Lifestyle modifications such as regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight can also help manage the condition and prevent its progression.

Remember, if you are experiencing painful, swollen legs with skin changes, lipodermatosclerosis could be the underlying cause. Seeking medical attention is crucial for proper diagnosis and management of this chronic skin condition.