Five Telltale Symptoms of Varicose Veins

Five Telltale Symptoms of Varicose Veins

Those bulging, twisting, and discolored blood vessels just under your skin’s surface may not be your only symptom of varicose veins. In fact, the damage responsible for varicose veins typically begins long before they’re visible.

Fortunately, most vein effective treatments are minimally invasive and essentially pain-free.

Our expert, Dr. Nirav Patel, at Premier Vascular explains what causes varicose veins and discusses five common symptoms you may mistake for other issues.

Varicose vein basics

Veins are the vessels that carry blood from your body to the heart for recirculation. One-way valves within the veins open and close regularly to help move blood through the vessel.

When vein walls weaken and stretch or valves within them malfunction, blood pools in the affected vessel and pressure builds. This causes the bulging and discoloration that’s visible if the damaged vein lies near your skin’s surface.

Five symptoms that can occur along with varicose veins 

Varicose veins can develop anywhere but are most common in the legs because blood flow there must move against gravity, which places additional pressure on your veins. Even if you can’t see varicose veins, here are some symptoms that may signal you have them.

1. Swelling in your legs, ankles, and feet

As blood accumulates in a varicose vein, much of which is water, pressure builds and the fluid from your blood leaks into surrounding tissue. This causes swelling (edema) in your legs, ankles, and feet.

Edema associated with varicose veins is often worse with prolonged standing or sitting. It typically decreases when you lie down and elevate your legs for a time.

Because varicose veins can occur well out of sight below the skin’s surface, you may experience edema before you notice any cosmetic changes. The edema may also become more persistent and bothersome as vein damage progresses.

2. Sensation of heaviness and aching in the legs

Many people have little to no pain related to varicose veins in their legs. However, for some, the poor circulation associated with varicosities can lead to aching, burning, or throbbing discomfort as well as a sensation of heaviness in their legs.

If your discomfort occurs after a period of prolonged standing or sitting, a quick walk can often get the blood moving again and lessen your discomfort.

3. Signs of a DVT (blood clot) in the leg

While varicose veins don’t typically threaten your overall health, they do increase your risk of developing a blood clot or deep venous thrombosis (DVT). This can become a medical emergency that requires immediate care. Symptoms of DVT include severe, cramping pain that typically starts in your calf along with significant swelling in the affected leg.

4. Skin changes

The fluid buildup and other circulatory issues caused by varicose veins can cause:

5. Painful skin sores

Tissue damage related to varicose veins can eventually cause open skin sores (venous ulcers) that are vulnerable to infection and can become quite painful.

For more information about treatments that address the cosmetic concerns and physical symptoms associated with varicose veins, or any of the services we offer, schedule an evaluation at one of our offices in Yonkers and Jackson Heights, New York, or get started with our three-minute vein survey

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