The word “lipodermatosclerosis” literally means scarring (“sclerosis”) of fat (“lipo”) and skin (“dermato”).

Patients who have this condition with their venous disease are sometimes said to have a “bowling pin” deformity of the leg, or a champagne leg.” The fat under the skin of the ankle becomes inflamed and scarred, causing the skin of the ankle to scar down, pushing the swelling above so that the leg is shaped like a bowling pin.