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Why are my feet darker than my legs?

Posted on October 17, 2023
Checking why feet turn darker with diagnostic ultrasound

Have you noticed that the skin on your feet is turning darker than your legs or other parts of your body? Are you worried about that change? Well, you should be! Skin that turns dark on your feet could be a sign that your vein health is suffering. And that means it’s time to see your Georgia vein specialists for an accurate diagnosis and treatment. Let’s take a closer look at some of the possible causes of changes to your skin color.

Why Do My Feet Turn Darker?

If you have fair skin, your feet turn darker for several reasons. First, this could be a sign of varicose veins. Why? With this condition—caused my malfunctioning valves in your veins—blood can pool in your legs. In turn, you can develop swollen veins, and swollen legs. Sometimes, your bulging veins leak red blood cells, carrying pigment into the surrounding skin. Over time, without intervention, that red color can darken, appearing almost black in color. varicose veins. These cells carry some red pigment that, over time, may turn black in color. And, if those cells migrate to your feet, they could turn darker than the surrounding skin color.

Surprisingly, too little blood flow could have just as much of an impact on the color of your feet. In fact, if plaque builds up in your body because of high levels of fat and cholesterol, you could develop Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), a condition in which . stuck plaque narrows your arteries. When that happens, your feet don’t get enough oxygen-rich blood flow. As a result, your feet may turn darker; typically, if the skin color changes are caused by PAD, your feet are also likely to be cold or numb, and swelling may also develop.

When Smoking Turns Feet Darker

Vein and arterial disease can contribute to changes in the color of your feet. But lifestyle factors—especially smoking—could also be responsible for this troubling symptom. Why?

  1. Cigarette chemicals can create uneven skin tones by speeding up your aging process.
  2. Nicotine makes blood vessels constrict, reducing oxygen-rich blood flow to the extremities. For this reason, people with PAD should be especially careful not to smoke or vape.
  3. If you smoke and have diabetes, be aware that you’ll slow down wound healing. So, if your feet turn darker, or give off pus or drainage, see your doctor immediately. This could be a sign of a limb-threatening ulcer.

Eczema and Other Skin-Changing Conditions

If you have eczema on your feet, that condition could affect your skin tone. Plus, venous eczema (also called stasis dermatitis) can make your feet and legs change color, while also developing swelling, inflammation and an irritated, dry or itchy feeling.  

Finally, there’s a rare form of cancer, known as Kaposi’s sarcoma, that develops in your lymph and blood vessels. And this condition could also make feet turn darker, because it causes lesions to form on your skin.

Georgia Specialists: Who to See When Feet Turn Darker

When the skin on your feet suddenly changes color, that’s a sign of more than just a cosmetic concern. It’s crucial to seek an accurate diagnosis, as many potential causes are serious, progressive medical conditions that will get worse without proper treatment. Want to find out if vein or arterial disease is causing changes in the color of your feet, or other unpleasant symptoms? Ready to find lasting relief? We invite you to click here to request an appointmentright away to start your path to healthier veins, arteries and, of course to restore the appearance of your skin!

Sources: Flux Magazine

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