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Effective Monday, July 19, 2021, the following NOH/OMG office locations will no longer provide on-site blood draws: Westlake, Lorain, Olmsted Falls and Dewhurst. Click here for the nearest lab service location. 

What Are The Most Concerning Varicose Veins Symptoms?

August 6, 2020

The most concerning varicose veins symptoms are darkening skin and pain. The pain can worsen after sitting or standing for long periods of time. In our previous post, we talked about what causes varicose veins. Today, we will take a look at varicose veins symptoms, possible side effects of having abnormal blood vessels, plus diagnosis and treatment methods.

Common Varicose Veins Symptoms

The most obvious sign of varicose veins is their appearance on the skin. People often confuse spider veins with varicose veins, so it’s important to remember that:

Spider veins are:

  • Small, thin, purple, blue or red veins
  • Can show up anywhere on your leg
  • Very close to the skin

Varicose veins are:

  • Larger, darker, stretched-out veins where blood has pooled
  • Tend to bulge, look “ropey”
  • Blue in color

The pain associated with varicose veins can start as a dull, achy feeling. You may even describe your legs as feeling “heavy.” If your pain worsens after standing or sitting for an extended period of time, you should take note. Also, look for symptoms that include:

  • Throbbing
  • Cramping
  • Swelling
  • Restlessness
  • Itchy or irritating rash

These are the typical varicose veins symptoms you could come across, but if they worsen, you should talk to your doctor immediately.

VIDEO: See how varicose vein symptoms develop.

Severe Varicose Veins Symptoms

In severe cases, the skin on the legs may also become darker. Varicose veins usually do not result in any health problems, except mild pain and discomfort. However, in some cases, they can contribute to more serious conditions including:

  • Skin ulcers and sores
  • Bleeding
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Superficial thrombophlebitis

If you’re experiencing darkened skin and pain, contact your doctor.

Diagnosing Varicose Veins

Diagnosing varicose veins usually occurs during a physical examination. Your doctor will ask you to stand or sit with your legs dangling and examine your legs. He or she may also ask you whether you are experiencing any symptoms. Sometimes, your doctor may conduct other tests to determine the severity of the condition or possible development of other disorders, such as ultrasound and venogram.

Treatments For Varicose Veins

Varicose veins can be treated with medical procedures or lifestyle changes. The easiest way to treat the condition is to use compression stockings. These stockings work by applying pressure on your veins, and they come in three different forms, namely, support pantyhose, over-the-counter compression hose, and prescription compression hose. Typically, you’ll want your stockings to have these features:

  • Must be graduated
  • At least calf-high
  • Should be replaced every 6 months to assure proper pressure

Compression stockings are available in a variety of strengths, styles, colors and fabrics.

Medical procedures that are used for treating varicose veins include sclerotherapy, surface laser treatment, endovenous methods, or a surgical procedure like vein stripping.

North Ohio Heart - Varicose Vein Overview

The good news is that if you’re living with varicose veins, you don’t have to. Simply contact your doctor to see what treatment may be right for you. You can also watch this video that explains how some of the varicose vein treatments we offer have helped lots of people like you.

Varicose veins affect roughly 50% of people over 50. To find out what other conditions you may be at risk for as you age, check out our free checklist.

Varicose Veins Infographic