Symptoms of Vein Disease


Common symptoms of vein disease can range from small cosmetic issues to more severe leg pain or physically limiting conditions including ulcers or immobility.  Often times cosmetic issues seen on the skin’s surface are just indicators of a deeper, underlying condition such as chronic venous insufficiency.

Common symptoms include:

  • Spider Veins (telangiectasia). Spider veins are tiny, thin, red/blue/green colored veins very close to the skin’s These veins become non-functional, dead-end veins.  Spider veins themselves are primarily unsightly and do not usually cause discomfort.  Many vein disease sufferers have a combination of spider veins and varicose veins.
  • Varicose Veins (bulging, ropy veins). Varicose veins are enlarged veins that appear bulging and ropy.  They are often deeper in the leg and may not always be visible on the skin.  Family history is a common risk factor in those suffering with varicose veins.  Pregnancy, obesity, and occupations that require long periods of standing or sitting are other common risk factors.
  • Leg Pain, Aching, or Heaviness. People with vein disease and varicose veins often suffer with a dull, heavy ache in their legs.  Some describe it as tiredness or heaviness in the legs without any visual signs of vein disease.  The pain or heaviness in the legs may worsen at night, or after long periods of standing or sitting.
  • Skin discoloration (hyperpigmentation, lipodermatosclerosis). Skin discoloration may be experienced in advanced stages of vein disease.  The skin changes result from the poor circulation and pooling of fluids that cause increased pressure inside the vein walls.
  • Itching, red rash, or flaking skin (dermatitis). Itching, red rash, or flaking skin on the legs can be a sign of underlying vein disease.  People may also experience a burning sensation, throbbing, and skin that may feel slightly numb or warm to the touch.
  • Leg swelling (lymphedema). A common sign of vein disease is edema, or swelling, often experienced in the lower legs, calves, ankles, and feet.  The swelling may be a sign that the veins are not working properly causing fluid accumulation.  In addition to leg or ankle swelling, edema can lead to changes in skin color and/or severe pain and discomfort in the lower limbs.
  • Leg cramping. Leg cramping is an extremely common symptom of vein disease.  The leg cramping may be a sign of the veins not working properly and the fluid accumulation can lead to the leg muscles contracting or cramping.  The leg cramps may worsen at night, or after long periods of standing or sitting.
  • Ankle sores (leg ulcers). The most severe stage of vein disease is leg wounds or leg ulcers.  Leg ulcers in a majority of patients result from underlying vein disease.  Poor circulation and pooling of fluid in the lower limbs caused by untreated vein disease may result in ulcers forming.

Superficial thrombophlebitis.

  • Blood clots (thrombosis, thrombophlebitis). Leg veins may become inflamed or painful, a condition called superficial phlebitis, which is due to a blood clot that forms in the veins near the surface of your skin. Symptoms include redness, warmth of the skin, tenderness, and hardening of the vein. Wearing compression stockings and taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs relieve the discomfort. The condition usually resolves in two weeks.
  • Restless legs syndrome (RLS). People with vein disease often describe experiencing leg restlessness, or the constant urge to move their legs. This symptom often occurs or worsens at night.

Vein disease is a progressive, medical condition that may worsen to more serious concerns if left untreated. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, it is best to call our office to schedule a consultation and identify the appropriate treatment plan for you.

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