beer-bottle leg

Last reviewed 01/2018

Lipodermatosclerosis describes areas of induration that result from fibrosis of the subcutaneous fat.

Lipodermatosclerosis may complicate chronic venous insufficiency, especially following a deep vein thrombosis.

Increased venous pressure causes the extravasation of red cells into the tissues and subsequent haemosiderin deposition. Often, the affected areas are erythematous initially, but eventually, become purple-brown in colour.

Circumferential lipodermatosclerosis around the ankle may produce the characteristic beer bottle leg.

Treated early, the condition may respond to stanazolol, a fibrinolysis-enhancing agent.


  1. Helfmen T, Falanga V. Stanazolol as a novel therapeutic agent in dermatology. J Am Acad Dermatol 1995; 33, 254-58