Brown black slowly healing festering wound above the ankle

If you have brown till black skin stains above the ankle it can have great complications. Deep vein thrombosis means that blood runs slowly through the leg which causes these stains. It is no clustering of melanin but a buildup of red blood cells within the skin. It can become very fragile whereby injuries will heal difficult. If you have these stains you must be careful as it can result into a long festering wound. What causes these skin stains and what can you do to prevent a pulmonary (lung) embolism?


Normally it is caused by a damaged inner blood vessel but can also be caused by slow flowing blood. The chance that blood will solidify grows if it flows slowly. It forms little clots in the blood which stick to the vessel. Underlying problem is that the veins in the legs have insufficient capabilities to maintain a stable blood flow. This is caused by a long immobility of the legs due to:

  • Long hospital stay due to coma or being motionless;
  • Sitting in the same position without movement (at your workstation);
  • Standing motionless on one spot (assembly line, standing jobs).

If you haven’t done the calves’ movement (walking or regular foot training) for a long time the chance of getting thrombosis grows. It can happen that clots sticking to the vessel get lose and are transported quickly through the body, causing problems such as lung embolism, heart attack or a stroke. 


Cause of the stains

Fifty percent of the people have no symptoms and therefor chest pain will come as a surprise. Brown skin stains above the ankle are a clear symptom of deep vein thrombosis but it doesn't mean you will have lung, heart or brain problems. But there is a good chance that there might be a possibility for it happening. Slow flowing blood in the legs expands the vessels partially caused by gravitational pull after which the vascular valves don’t fit precisely anymore. Blood can flow back resulting in slow moving blood. A higher concentration of slow moving blood makes that red blood cells leak through the vessel into the skin. This skin will increasingly get darker and darker. This shouldn't be confused with melanin accumulation as it is due to buildup of red blood cells. 


The skin is very vulnerable

You will have to be extra careful when you have this type of skin coloration's. The skin is very fragile! Due to a scratch, bump or swelling the ankle can fester. In that case the skin will burst open after which it will take extreme patience and time for it to heal. The festering can continue for months up to half a year. In this period the swollen leg needs to get additional support using compression stockings next to which the festering isn't allowed to get wet. The person needs to sleep with the feet slightly in an upward position. By raising the feet-end of the bed ten centimeters blood will more easily flow back to the heart.


Improving blood flow

To make sure the condition doesn't get worse it is necessary to take action. Preventing problems with the vulnerable skin is better than healing. What can you do to improve the blood flow? If you travel a lot or you stand in one position without moving it is important to exercise the ankles every half hour ten times. It is the second pump within the body for bettering the internal blood flow. Compression stockings make sure that the vessels will be less wide so that the vessel valves can work more effective in building up enough pressure for the blood to flow to the heart. The best advice is of course to start walking and do more exercises. It will improve your health and will lower the chance of getting a lung embolism. Also eating healthy foods is very important.