Are your legs itchy? Not just the occasional itch, but a persistent, nonstop itching that can’t be satisfied with a scratch? The kind that keeps you up at night?
Itchy legs are one of the most common early warning signs of varicose veins. Many people visit Advanced Radiology with itchy legs and a lot of frustration after struggling to stop scratching and unsuccessfully trying to soothe their skin.
Why Do Varicose Veins Cause Itchy Legs?
The cause of itchy legs is varicose veins, a condition also known as venous insufficiency. Venous insufficiency happens when the one-way valves in the veins of your leg stop functioning. These valves are designed to keep your blood flowing in one direction, and when they stop working, blood begins pooling in your calves and feet.
When this happens, high blood pressure develops in your legs, causing the veins to swell and your skin to stretch. When the skin stretches, it becomes inflamed and itchy.
Another reason for increased itchiness in the legs is that when the blood flow decreases in your legs, your skin is not getting the oxygen and other nutrients it needs to stay healthy. Your skin begins to become dry, flaky and itchy. You may also develop venous eczema, a severe dry skin condition caused by the lack of blood flow to your extremities.
Are Itchy Legs All That Serious?
Itchy legs are an indicator of varicose veins, which can lead to slow-to-heal sores on your legs and feet called venous ulcers. Venous ulcers are very painful and leave you at risk of developing an infection.
If left untreated, your varicose veins could also mean blood clots, leaving you at risk for heart attack and stroke.
What Should I Do If I Have Itchy Legs?
While there are many over-the-counter treatments and home remedies that promise to stop your legs from itching, these treatments frequently fall short of bringing actual relief. To truly treat your itchy legs, you need to treat your varicose veins.
If your legs are itchy, stop scratching and pick up the phone. Call Advanced Radiology at 855-201-1519 to schedule your varicose vein consultation.