Lipodermatosclerosis is a change in the skin of the lower legs. The disorder is a type of panniculitis, which is an inflammation of the fat layer under the skin. This condition affects people with a venous insufficiency. Symptoms of lipodermatosclerosis are:

  • Pain.
  • Skin hardening.
  • Redness of the skin.
  • Swelling.
  • The legs above the ankles taper.
  • Small scarred areas that look white (atrophie blanche)
  • Leg sores or ulcers.


The cause of lipodermatosclerosis is unknown. What is known is that the disorder is in some way related to venous insufficiency and obesity. Approximately two thirds of affected people are obese.


The most common form of diagnosis comes from a skin biopsy and blood but are not required. Ultrasound scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be used to obtain more information regarding the severity of the condition to determine the best treatment approach.


Usually, lipodermatosclerosis is treated by compression therapy. Other means of treating the symptoms of lipodermatosclerosis are:

  • Leg elevation
  • Not sitting or standing in the same place for long periods.
  • Losing weight.
  • Regular exercise.
  • Medications to keep blood from clotting.
  • Medications to reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Vein surgery.

Our physicians at VeinGuard Heart & Vascular Center can provide cosmetic and medical treatment via a customized service plan and prevention plan. For vein treatment in Fairfax, Virginia, call 703-560-1075 to contact VeinGuard Heart & Vascular Center.