What is Lipdermatosclerosis?
Lipodermatosclerosis (LDS) is a skin and connective tissue disorder of the lower extremity which usually causes a brownish discoloration on the inner aspect of the ankle. LDS is the result of inflammation of the layer of fat under the epidermis; thus the term lipo (fat)-dermato (skin)-sclerosis (abnormal hardening of body tissue).
Patients with venous disease can present with different levels of severity. LDS is usually a sign of advanced venous disease. As venous disease severity increases, so does the blood pressure in the veins (venous hypertension). These high vein pressures can “push” molecules that function as the body’s natural defense mechanisms out of the circulation and into tissues around the lower leg and ankle causing chronic inflammation and tissue damage. People with more severe LDS have tapering of their legs above the ankles, forming a constricting band resembling an inverted champagne bottle.