Chronic Vein Insufficiency

Published On: January, 23, 2023

Chronic venous insufficiency 

What is chronic venous insufficiency?

Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) is an inflammatory condition caused by long standing, untreated venous reflux disease.  Commonly, venous reflux disease causes a collection of symptoms such as leg swelling, heaviness, fatigue and varicose veins. But, over time, when blood is no longer circulating properly in the leg veins, skin changes can also appear. When skin changes appear, this is termed, chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). Venous stasis is another term used for this condition.   Chronic inflammation from CVI causes the skin around the ankles to darken, become dry, itchy, and firm. In severe cases, the skin can start to break down and ulcerate. The ulcer (wound) occurs in the inner or outer ankle and is also referred to as a stasis ulcer or venous ulcer.

Venous stasis skin changes associated with venous insufficiency include:

  • Darkening of the skin along the ankles
  • Itching and dry skin around the ankles (venous eczema)
  • Development of wounds around the ankles, called venous leg ulcers


The treatment of CVI cannot reverse the skin changes but it can prevent it from worsening and ulceration. In our experience, treatment of underlying venous reflux reduces the inflammatory changes and the skin may become less itchy and dry, but the permanent skin discoloration does not disappear. Treatment involves correction of the underlying venous reflux.

“Bringing Experts Together for Unparalleled Vein and Vascular Care”

La Jolla Vein & Vascular (formerly La Jolla Vein Care) is committed to bringing experts together for unparalleled vein and vascular care. 

Nisha Bunke, MD, Sarah Lucas, MD, and Elliot DeYoung, MD are specialists who combine their experience and expertise to offer world-class vascular care. 

Our accredited center is also a nationally known teaching site and center of excellence. 

For more information on treatments and to book a consultation, please give our office a call at 858-550-0330. 

For a deeper dive into vein and vascular care, please check out our Youtube Channel at this link.

For more information on varicose veins and eliminating underlying venous insufficiency, check this link out full of resources. 

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