Symptoms of Varicose Veins

By  , Expert Content
Jan 22, 2013

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symptoms of Varicose Veins

Varicose veins appear swollen, twisted, and dark purple or blue in colour. They are a common problem but it always does not cause significant symptoms.


Some symptoms of varicose veins are:

  • pain in legs
  • feeling heavy and uncomfortable in the legs
  • swelling of feet and ankles
  • burning or throbbing sensation in the legs
  • muscle cramp in the legs, which is usually worse at night
  • dry, itchy and thin skin in the affected leg over the vein


[Read: How to Prevent Varicose Veins]


The symptoms tend to worsen during warm weather or if you stand up for long periods of time. The symptoms are often progressive, which means that symptoms tend to worsen with time. Some people may develop significant complications if the varicose veins are severe.

Some complications associated with the varicose veins include:

  • bleeding
  • phlebitis
  • leg ulcers.



Bleeding: The superficial veins just under the skin in people with varicose veins are affected. As the veins become swollen, twisted, or stretched bumping or scratching may cause the large varicose vein to bleed profusely. Varicose veins have a tendency to bleed more as compared to healthy veins due to the abnormally increased pressure within these damaged and diseases veins.
Phlebitis: Phlebitis (or inflammation of a vein) can sometimes affect varicose veins. This type of phlebitis is superficial and can cause formation of small blood clot in the vein. When clots are formed in the veins it causes swelling and redness along the region of the vein that is affected.  However unlike formation of clots in deep veins these clots usually do not pose any serious problem. Some people with long standing phlebitis can develop postphlebitic leg (or a condition called as stasis syndrome). The region affected by postphlebitic leg may become discolored, scaly, and swollen, with hardening of the tissue beneath the skin. This can lead to formation of painful ulcers.

Leg Ulcers: Formation of ulcers (open sores) is the probably the commonest and the most upsetting complications of varicose veins. They usually occur in the elderly.


[Read: Seeking Medical Advice for Varicose Veins]


Treatment of Varicose Veins


If you have varicose veins it does not necessarily need treatment. Your doctor will advise treatment for the condition if the varicose veins cause symptoms. Some symptoms for which treatment may be necessary are:

  • to relieve symptoms such as pain or discomfort
  • to treat complications, associated with varicose veins such as leg ulcers, swelling or skin discolouration
  • cosmetic reasons –that is, if the discoloration or appearance of the skin bothers you.


Varicose veins most often develop on the legs, (either on the back of the calf or on the inside the leg). Some other places which can be affected by varicose veins include:


  • oesophagus
  • womb (uterus)
  • vagina
  • pelvis
  • rectum (back passage).

Read more articles on Varicose Veins


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