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A man holding his leg on a yoga mat by Arizona Vein & Laser Institute

Have you been losing hair on your legs? You might think it’s because you’re getting older, and it may not seem like a big deal, especially if you don’t notice any other symptoms. However, hair loss on the legs can indicate a serious underlying condition known as peripheral artery disease (PAD).

PAD occurs when plaque builds up in arteries, clogging them and limiting blood flow to the legs. If left untreated, there’s a danger that PAD can cause gangrene and even amputation. Smokers, along with people with diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, or high blood pressure are at higher risk for PAD. Symptoms include numbness in leg, leg pain, heavy-feeling legs, or burning feet. So, what does that have to do with hair loss on the legs? That’s another symptom.

Of course, PAD isn’t the only thing that can cause you to lose hair on your legs. If baldness runs in your family, hair loss can occur on your legs as well as your head. Losing hair on your legs is also connected with a number of health issues, like poor circulation, diabetes, thyroid conditions, fungal infections, folliculitis, hormone changes, and pituitary gland disorders. You can also experience hair loss if you lack certain nutrients like iron, vitamin D, or zinc, or if you use steroids.

PAD causes hair loss on the legs because inadequate blood flow robs the body of blood and oxygen necessary for nourishment. The hair follicles on your legs may be deprived of nutrients, and then the hair will stop growing. At that point, you might also notice some other symptoms, like leg pain or numbness. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s wise to seek medical attention so that your doctor can determine the root cause of your issues.

If it turns out to be peripheral artery disease, there’s good news. It’s treatable, in the early stages sometimes just with lifestyle changes. There are also minimally invasive treatment options like stent angioplasty, which involves a tiny catheter being inserted into a blocked artery. This procedure doesn’t require surgery or a hospital stay. Talk to your doctor about treatment options that are appropriate for you.

If you’re seeking the very best care for your vein and blood flow issues, trust the board-certified physicians at the Arizona Vein & Laser Institute. Using the most advanced technology, the vascular and cardiovascular surgeons at the Arizona Vein & Laser Institute provide care for all types of venous diseases. With over 40 years of experience, our team of experienced physicians can devise the right treatment plan to address your venous disease problems. For more information contact us through our website.