Venous insufficiency is the inadequate circulation of venous blood back to the heart. Venous insufficiency occurs most often in the legs and, less commonly, in other parts of the body. Venous insufficiency can be caused by factors that impair venous return (the return of blood to the heart) or factors that increase blood volume/pressure (peripheral edema). Venous insufficiency is also called chronic venous disease; chronic refers to damage that has been present for several months. Venous insufficiency can cause cosmetic problems including leg swelling and skin changes, but it may also lead to serious medical conditions including skin ulcers or cellulitis. Venous insufficiency can be difficult to diagnose because symptoms are often nonspecific. Venous insufficiency is frequently “silent,” that is, it is asymptomatic. Symptoms of Venous Insufficiency The following are the most common symptoms of Venous Insufficiency – Pain – Swelling – Skin changes including discoloration, redness, thinning skin, and varicose veins or thickened veins under the skin’s surface (striae) – Itchy skin (pruritus) – Dry scaly skin (xerosis) – Blood clots in the legs (deep vein thrombosis [DVT]) – Chronic leg ulcers – Warm skin around the ankle, where a vein has been removed (phlebitis) – Venous stasis dermatitis, which presents with itchy or scaly red patches on the lower leg that may ooze fluid and become crusty if scratched – Venous insufficiency can be divided into three types: superficial reflux, deep venous insufficiency, cavernous incompetence. Symptoms are determined by which type of cause of Venous Insufficiency is present. Some patients have no symptoms at all. This is called “claudication.” When they do occur, symptoms usually develop slowly over years. Symptoms may include pain in the legs, swelling, burning sensations in the legs, skin changes, discoloration of the skin on the lower leg or foot, redness or scaling of the skin on the lower leg or foot.