What is Lipodermatosclerosis?


Image: Pexels.com

Lipodermatosclerosis is a fairly rare condition, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less serious. And if you’re suffering from it, you likely want as much information as you can get. And, statistically speaking, if you suffer from fibromyalgia, you have a higher chance of developing the condition. That’s because both symptoms seem to affect the same kind of people at higher proportions: middle-aged women.

So, with that in mind, let’s talk about what the condition is and what you can do to treat it.

What Is Lipodermatosclerosis?

Lipodermatosclerosis is basically a swelling of the legs above the ankles. People have likened the appearance to an upside down wine bottle. That reflects the fact that the upper part can be painfully swollen while the lower legs look perfectly normal. The upper, swollen part is often painful and discolored as well.

There are two types, chronic and acute. In the acute form, the condition develops suddenly and usually painfully. Meanwhile, the chronic form of the condition develops gradually over time.

The root of the condition lies in the veins. Increased blood pressure forces substances like fibrin out into the fatty tissue, causing it to swell. This leads to hardening of the skin and the pain associated with the condition. In some cases, the fatty tissue can die from lack of blood flow, which causes it to turn necrotic. It then rots away, exposing you to sores or ulcers and the risk of infections.

We aren’t sure what causes the conditions, but there are a number of theories. Obviously, high blood pressure is a major factor. But there’s evidence that people who suffer from the condition have a shortage of capillaries in the tissue, which makes the tissue predisposed to swelling.

The people most at risk of the condition tend to have more fat tissue in the legs, such as middle aged women and people who are obese.

How Is It Treated?

There are a few ways to treat lipodermatosclerosis. The main treatment is with compression therapy. Essentially, this involves using specially designed clothing or simple bandages to compress the tissue. This increases blood flow through the tissue and helps to manage the swelling. It also allows the blood to carry away some of the substances that lead to swelling in the first place.

One of the most significant risks of this condition is the way it can cause the tissue in your legs to decay and die. This dead tissue can become riddled with ulcers, which significantly increase your risk of infection. If an infection in one of these ulcers becomes serious enough, it can be life-threatening. Make sure to see a doctor immediately if you develop an ulcer. They’ll be able to administer antibiotics and remove the dead tissue, which can help protect you from infection.

If the condition recurs frequently, your doctor may recommend vein surgery. Basically, this surgery involves stripping away the veins that are causing the problem. This can help prevent the swelling of the fatty tissue. There are a few ways to do this. The first is with simply extracting the veins surgically. But you can also get a number of procedures that destroy the vein while it’s still inside your body. This eliminates the need for surgery.

In addition, there are a few things you can do to manage the condition on a daily basis. Make sure you don’t spend long periods of time sitting. Exercise is not only a good way to treat the condition, but it can help you avoid obesity, which is a serious risk factor. And if you are obese, losing the extra weight is a good way to help reduce the severity of your symptoms.

Finally, elevate your legs regularly. This will allow blood to flow out of the legs, reducing pressure on your veins.

In addition, there are a few medications that might be necessary. The poor blood flow in the legs can lead to dangerous clots. So doctors often prescribe medications designed to increase blood flow and prevent clots from forming. In addition, there are medications that can help to reduce the occurrence of painful swelling.

But the best thing you can do is prevent the condition from forming, if possible. Exercise regularly and eat a balanced diet. These will not only improve your overall health, they can help to reduce your risk of developing lipodermatosclerosis.

So, let us know, do you have lipodermatosclerosis? What did you do about it? What treatments work? Tell us in the comments.