Arterial conditions, such as peripheral artery disease (PAD) and critical limb ischemia (CLI), and venous conditions, such as deep venous disease (DVD) and superficial venous insufficiency (SVI) can produce notable changes in the skin, especially on the legs and feet.
Changes in the texture and color of the skin are a result of poor circulation in the arteries and veins.2,3,4
When the circulation is compromised blood flow is decreased resulting in increased pressure in the vessels, leading to inflammation of the skin on one or both legs. The resulting inflammation may cause the skin to become leathery, itchy or reddish.1 Without treatment, increased swelling and skin inflammation due to poor circulation of blood can lead to serious complications such as rash, sores that are open as well as other ulcerations.5 Venous insufficiencies (DVI) can lead to stasis dermatitis which causes itching, scaling, hyperpigmentation, and sometimes ulceration.7 These are serious conditions that require prompt diagnosis and treatment. It is important you take the step and seek help from your doctor if you notice changes in your skin.
Skin changes to your feet or legs can be a sign of several conditions such as PAD, DVD or SVI. The progressive conditions may start out with mild symptoms but with time, may lead to more moderate to severe symptoms.