Lipodermatosclerosis, also called sclerosing panniculitis and hypodermitis sclerodermiform, is a skin and connective tissue disease. It is a form of lower extremity panniculitis and an inflammation of the layer of fat under the epidermis.
Types & Symptoms
There are mainly two types of lipodermatosclerosis: acute
lipodermatosclerosis and chronic lipodermatosclerosis. The symptoms
of lipodermatosclerosis vary between these two types.
Acute lipodermatosclerosis occurs without
local injury or preceding illness, and it affects mostly the middle aged. It is
characterized by the following symptoms:
- A painful
inflammation above the ankle in the inner leg which resembles cellulitis
- The affected
areas present to be red, scaly and tender
Chronic lipodermatosclerosis develops
gradually. It usually characterized by:
- Localized thickening
- Increased pigmentation
- Varicose veins and leg ulcers
The exact causes for lipodermatosclerosis are still unknown. But the
following causes may be related to this condition:
- Venous disease, such as venous incompetence and venous hypertension
- Tissue hypoxia
- Leakage of proteins into the interstitium
- Leukocyte activation
The diagnosis of lipodermatosclerosis is usually clinical based on observation. In some rare conditions, biopsy is required.
Common treatments for patients with lipodermatosclerosis
- Compression Therapy
It is the main treatment, which uses compression stockings or tight bandaging on the affected surface.
- Leg Elevation
- Weight Loss
- Vein Surgery
- Fibrinolytic Agents
They use an enzymatic action to help dissolve the blood clots.
It is injected directly in the affected area.
- Venous Ablation
It can help circulation for patients with this disease.
- Clobetasol Propionate
It is usually used for reducing inflammation.