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Itching Legs

Commonwealth Vein Center

Vascular, Vein and Wound Specialists & Cardiologists located in Colonial Heights, VA & Richmond, VA, & McLean, VA

Itchy skin, whether on your legs or other body areas, is usually associated with problems like dry skin. However, itchy skin is also a red flag, signaling you have a vascular condition. The vascular specialists at Commonwealth Vein Center have extensive experience determining when itching legs represent a venous problem. Then they create a customized treatment plan to eliminate the underlying cause and relieve the itching. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Colonial Heights, Richmond, or McLean, Virginia, or use the online booking feature today.

Itching Legs Q & A

What vascular condition causes itching legs? 

Venous insufficiency, also called chronic venous insufficiency, can lead to intensely itchy legs. The condition occurs when weak or damaged valves in your leg veins allow blood to flow in the wrong direction. As a result, the blood goes down your leg instead of up toward your heart.

When blood refluxes in the vein, it eventually reaches another valve that's healthy and functioning. At that point, the blood builds up in the vein, stretching the vein wall, causing enlarged, dark blue or purple bulging veins. This condition is commonly known as varicose veins.  

How does venous insufficiency lead to itching legs?

As venous insufficiency forces blood to accumulate, blood pressure rises inside the veins in your lower leg. That abnormal pressure pushes fluids out of the vein and into the skin.

The fluids infiltrating the skin lead to a skin condition called venous stasis dermatitis also called venous eczema.

When this skin condition develops, you experience:

  • Leg itching that’s often intense
  • Leg discoloration (red or purplish skin)
  • Inflamed skin
  • Scaly, dry skin
  • Leg swelling
  • Rash with small bumps 

Along with the itching, your skin may get thick and leathery. These skin changes signal advanced venous disease, which leads to open wounds (ulcers) around your ankles or on your lower legs.

Though you should seek help for itching legs, it's essential to see the team at Commonwealth Vein Center as soon as an ulcer appears. Venous ulcers keep enlarging and won't heal without specialized wound care. 

How are itching legs treated?

During your first consultation, your provider examines your legs and typically performs a vascular ultrasound. Ultrasound shows the structure of your blood vessels, as well as the blood flowing through them. That information allows your provider to accurately diagnose venous insufficiency.

After determining your itchy legs are due to venous insufficiency, your provider creates a customized treatment plan to reduce your symptoms and treat the underlying venous disease.

Your treatment may include one or more of the following:

  • Compression stockings
  • Elevating your legs above your heat
  • Topical corticosteroids
  • Topical or oral antibiotics (for an infection)
  • Radiofrequency venous ablation
  • Sclerotherapy (Varithena®)
  • ClariVein®
  • VenaSeal™
  • Phlebectomy

The last five treatments in the list eliminate venous insufficiency and varicose veins and restore healthy leg circulation. 

If you need relief from itching legs, call Commonwealth Vein Center or book an appointment online today.