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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Lipodermatosclerosis


Other Names for this Disease

  • Acute lipodermatosclerosis
  • Hypodermitis sclerodermaformis
  • Sclerosing panniculitis
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.

Your Question

Please send me any information you have regarding lipodermatosclerosis. The physicians in my area do not know how to treat my condition. The pain is getting unbearable at times and I am looking for any kind of treatments that may help my condition.

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

What is lipodermatosclerosis?

Lipodermatosclerosis refers to changes in the skin of the lower legs. It is a form of panniculitis (inflammation of the layer of fat under the skin). Signs and symptoms include pain, hardening of skin, change in skin color (redness), swelling, and a tapering of the legs above the ankles.[1][2] The exact underlying cause is unknown; however, it appears to be associated with venous insufficiency and/or obesity. Treatment usually includes compression therapy.[2]
Last updated: 12/31/2014

What are the signs and symptoms of lipodermatosclerosis?

Lipodermatosclerosis refers to changes in the skin of the lower legs. One or both legs may be involved. Signs and symptoms vary but may include:[1][2]
Last updated: 12/31/2014

What causes lipodermatosclerosis?

The exact cause of lipodermatosclerosis is unknown; however, it may be related to certain vein abnormalities and/or obesity. Lipodermatosclerosis often occurs in people with venous insufficiency. Approximately two thirds of affected people are obese.[1][2]
Last updated: 12/31/2014

How might lipodermatosclerosis be treated?

Lipodermatosclerosis is primarily treated with compression therapy to improve venous insufficiency.[2] Other strategies for managing venous insufficiency include leg elevation; not sitting or standing in one place for long periods of time; regular exercise; and weight loss if overweight or obese.[3] Some affected people may require medications to prevent blood clotting; reduce pain and inflammation; and/or increase blood flow. Depending on the severity of the condition and the response to initial treatments, vein surgery may be recommended.[2]
Last updated: 12/31/2014

How can I learn about research involving lipodermatosclerosis?

The U.S. National Institutes of Health, through the National Library of Medicine, developed ClinicalTrials.gov to provide patients, family members, and members of the public with current information on clinical research studies. You can search for clinical trials enrolling participants with lipodermatosclerosis by clicking on the link above and using "lipodermatosclerosis" as your search term. After you click on a study, review its "eligibility" criteria to determine its appropriateness. Use the study's contact information to learn more. Check this site often for regular updates.

You can also contact the Patient Recruitment and Public Liaison (PRPL) Office at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). We recommend calling the toll-free number listed below to speak with a specialist who can help you determine if you or someone you know is eligible for any clinical trials.

Patient Recruitment and Public Liaison Office
NIH Clinical Center
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-2655
Toll-free: 800-411-1222
Fax: 301-480-9793
Email: prpl@mail.cc.nih.gov
Web site: http://clinicalcenter.nih.gov/

You can find helpful general information on clinical trials at the following ClinicalTrials.gov Web page.
http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/info/understand

A tutorial about clinical trials that can also help answer your questions can be found at the following link from the National Library of Medicine:
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/tutorials/cancerclinicaltrials/htm/lesson.htm

Resources on many charitable or special-fare flights to research and treatment sites and low-cost hospitality accommodations for outpatients and family members, as well as ambulance services, are listed on the Web site of the Office of Rare Diseases (ORD), part of the National Institutes of Health.
http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/Resources.aspx?PageID=8
Last updated: 12/31/2014

References
Other Names for this Disease
  • Acute lipodermatosclerosis
  • Hypodermitis sclerodermaformis
  • Sclerosing panniculitis
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.