03.30.2015

Venous Insufficiency & Cellulitis: Are They Related?

Chronic Venous Insufficiency can present a variety of symptoms, ranging from mild swelling and achiness in the legs to open sores and ulcers. Venous Insufficiency is a progressive disease that is caused by a number of vein disorders, but the primary culprits of this are faulty valves within the veins. Varicose veins contain valves that have been weakened by increased blood pressure. When these valves begin to fail, blood begins to run backwards, which can lead to enlarged, visible veins near the surface of the skin.

 

Fluid buildup (edema) in the legs caused by restricted blood flow and decreased circulation can lead to areas on the skin that are more susceptible to bursting open if they’re bumped or scratched. Because of the excess fluid, these areas are especially prone to ruptures. Once the skin ruptures, it’s at a much higher risk for infection, often resulting in Cellulitis.

What is Cellulitis?

Cellulitis is a serious bacterial infection of the skin that usually occurs on the legs and face, but can affect any part of the body. There are a number of risk factors that can increase one’s chances of developing cellulitis. The lack of proper blood flow resulting from Chronic Venous Insufficiency is one of them.

Symptoms

Cellulitis usually presents itself as a large, red area of tender skin that often (but not always) surrounds an open wound or sore. The red area’s borders aren’t sharp or defined, and the red area will often increase in size over the course of a few days. Other symptoms include warmth, red streaking in the areas adjacent to the infection, and leaking fluid or pus. Fever and fatigue are also possible. If you experience a high fever, nausea or vomiting, increased or severe pain, or numbness of the area, it’s important to seek emergency medical care.

Treatment Options

While cellulitis can be relatively mild, it can also be incredible severe. Cellulitis isn’t easily treated, and often requires a strict regimen of antibiotics. If antibiotics are ineffective, doctors may have to resort to surgery, which may involve manually draining the infected area. Rarely, a patient may have to undergo surgery that involves cutting away dead skin tissue to combat the infection. Pain medication is also often prescribed, because cellulitis can be extremely painful.

Can Cellulitis be Prevented?

The best way to prevent Cellulitis is to address the underlying cause – Venous Insufficiency. Do not hesitate to contact a vein specialist if you have any symptoms of venous insufficiency. Only a trained vein doctor can assess your risk of venous insufficiency complications like Cellulitis.

Dr. Kaveh has been treating varicose veins in Las Vegas for years, and is one of the few vein specialists in Nevada who performs the ClariVein procedure. To learn more about venous insufficiency, or to find treatment options for varicose veins, contact Alpha Vein Clinic at (702) 430 7661 today!