Skin discoloration can be unpleasant and concerning. This condition is usually due to chronic fluid buildup in the lower extremities.  Medically, this swelling is referred to as “edema” and is commonly a result of gravity.  People with swelling tend to see improvement in the morning and gradual increase in foot, ankle or leg size throughout the day. You may experience shoes, socks or other clothing to be tighter fitting on one foot than another.  Other symptoms include heaviness, fullness, dull aching discomfort, changes to skin texture, numbness or tingling or, sometimes, no symptoms at all.

Millions of Americans suffer from conditions involving leg swelling such as tenderness or weakness of the legs, difficulty walking, tightening of the skin and in more severe conditions, skin blisters and ulcerations. Skin ulcers are wounds on the skin that are caused by abnormal or ineffective return of blood back to the heart. This condition is also known as “venous insufficiency” and has a tendency towards showing up around the ankles and below the calves.

Venous insufficiency is due to backward flow of blood leading to build up and visible protuberance of veins. This visible bulge is also known as a varicose vein. Varicose veins are veins close to the skin that have become twisted or enlarged. These superficial veins may be genetic, due to weight gain, pregnancy or occupations with long periods of standing.  Varicose veins can appear dark blue and swollen and involve symptoms such as burning, aching or tiredness. More severe symptoms include changes to skin color, thinning of the skin, scaling and ulcerations.  Although varicose veins are commonly not serious, in some cases, it can indicate a blood clot blocking the flow of blood in deeper veins. This condition is known as deep venous thrombosis and should be evaluated by your doctor.

Your doctor can refer to a specialist to offer treatments such as sclerotherapy, laser treatments and radiofrequency ablation to close off the vein; or phlebectomy to remove the vein.  A doctor can advise you on which treatment option is most suited for you after a thorough evaluation.  Valley Veins has certified staff to diagnose and treat a large range of condition involving leg swelling, skin discoloration and varicose veins.

At Valley Veins, we have expertise and experience in all types of varicose vein treatments, ranging from minimally-invasive to complex surgical procedures. Treatment options include sclerotherapy, laser surgery, endovenous thermal ablation (radiofrequency [VNUS] or laser), surgical vein stripping, endoscopic perforator vein surgery and other procedures. Patients may receive a combination of treatments, and most patients also use self-care therapies such as compression stockings. Valley Veins is at the forefront of newest option utilizing information from research studies in venous diseases, including varicose veins. We study the newest, most current treatments available for venous diseases. Venous specialists at Valley Veins successfully treat hundreds of patients each year with varicose veins. Currently, all insurance plans cover treatment for venous damage, including Medicare, Medi-Cal, private insurance plans, and Central Coast Alliance.  A referral is not required for Medicare, Medi-Cal, or most PPO plans.   Valley Veins does free varicose vein screening and information sessions.  They may be contacted at (209) 656-7400.