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Haemosiderin Staining


Haemosiderin staining refers to dark purple or brown discolouration seen on the lower legs as a result of chronic varicose veins or venous disease.


In abnormal veins, the wall stretches so that the one way valves no longer meet. Blood flows down the leg towards the ankle, instead of forwards up the leg and to the heart. This backlog of blood causes increased pressure in the veins and they begin to leak. Fluid and cells making up the blood are forced out into the surrounding tissues.

When red blood cells leak into the tissues they die and release iron. This iron is then stored in the tissues, causing skin discolouration.

Treatment aims to close these veins to prevent ongoing venous congestion and leakage.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Dark purple or brown discoloration on lower limbs.


  • Physical Exam.
  • Ultrasound.

Related Information

Endovenous Laser Therapy
Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy
Ambulatory Phlebectomy