The blood that runs from our hearts to our extremities and back again takes a long journey, and every vein in-between must work properly for our blood to continue flowing correctly. When the valves in our veins struggle to function due to high blood pressure inside each vein, blood pools in the veins instead of returning to the heart. This pressure can further weaken the vein, leading to discoloration beneath the skin.
If you notice parts of your legs turning slight shades of red or blue, this could be a sign of venous insufficiency. The symptom of discoloration can come in many different forms, including spider veins, varicose veins, or even as a result of damage from diabetes. Needless to say, the discoloration can also cause embarrassment. We understand how you feel; we help patients every day who have experienced the same thing.
Causes of Leg Discoloration
Our legs change as we get older. It is part of life! The skin on our legs can harden, losing its elasticity and smooth feel. Leg discoloration can be yet another consequence of age and chronic venous insufficiency, besides the different illnesses that can cause it as well. One condition that can leave reddish-brown staining is called hemosiderin in which an iron-storing protein breaks down leaving iron to store in skin tissue instead.
In other cases, blood pools in the legs and toes when our veins are strained; gravity and sedentary living can also be a cause of discoloration and other symptoms. The stain itself is not dangerous, but it can indicate a great problem is beginning to happen.
Another type of discoloration is a bluish hue consistent with varicose veins. Varicose veins are blue due to the color of the blood trying to return to the heart. Varicose veins themselves are not life-threatening, but they can lead to ruptured veins and ulcers that will require treatment. In some patients, blood clots may also begin to form in varicose veins, which can be a high-risk condition.
Your Treatment Options
There are a few things you can do to help reduce the discoloration of your legs. Some of these include:
- Getting active! Instead of letting your blood get stuck in your legs due to gravity and weak veins, let’s get your blood moving and your heart pumping strong. Even just 10-30 minutes of walking a day can do wonders for blood circulation.
- A change in diet can definitely help. Varicose veins and leg discoloration occur easier in people who are obese or overweight, so a low-calorie diet is recommended. Avoid high-sodium foods which can increase your blood pressure and put additional strain on your veins. Lastly, drink plenty of water to increase good blood flow. You would be surprised at how many people do not drink enough water every day!
- Eat foods that are high in Rubin. Rubin is a flavinoid; flavinoids are important types of cellular structures present in leafy greens that give our bodies antioxidants and help reduce inflammation. Some of these foods include watercress, asparagus, avocados, and beets.
Heart of Dixie Can Help You Today
If you find that leg discoloration remains despite all your efforts to change your lifestyle, do not worry. The friendly staff at Heart of Dixie Vein and Vascular Center is here to improve your symptoms and get to the “heart” of your conditions! If you live near St. George, UT, Mesquite, NV, or Cedar City, UT, you no longer have to suffer from the discoloration and pain of varicose veins. Schedule an appointment with our specialists today.