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 Vein Health Center has certified

staff to diagnose and treat a large range of condition involving leg swelling, skin

discoloration and varicose veins.


At Valley Vein Health Center, 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), phlebectomy, 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 Vein Health Center is at the forefront of newest option utilizing

information from research studies in venous diseases, including varicose veins. At

Valley Vein we study the newest, most current treatments available for venous

diseases. Venous specialists at Valley Vein successfully treat hundreds of patients

each year with varicose veins. Currently, most 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, or most PPO

plans. Valley Vein Health center offers free varicose vein screening and

information sessions. They may be contacted at (209) 656-7400.