The Symptoms of Varicose Veins

 

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What symptoms or problems can varicose veins and reflux cause?

Many people with varicose veins experience no symptoms. However, with time, the following problems may arise:

  • Skin changesAching or heavy feeling in your legs, sometimes associated with burning, throbbing, and muscle cramping, especially towards the end of the day after you have been hanging your legs down for a long time. The muscle cramping may wake you up at night and is associated with swelling during the day.
  • Leg swelling or skin changes - Brownish or reddish discoloration may form around your veins, especially in the higher pressure areas near your ankle.
  • Itching
  • Ulceration - The more swollen your leg becomes and the more skin changes you develop, the more likely you are to form ulcers. Once ulcers form they are very difficult to heal, require prolonged therapy, and tend to recur.
  • UlcerationSuperficial phlebitis - As the veins over time become larger and more “ropey” they tend to fill with stagnant blood, especially if you stand or hang your legs down for long periods. Clots can then form, frequently after minor trauma. Although superficial clots do not embolize (move from the legs to the heart and lungs), they are associated with deeper clots which sometimes do. Superficial phlebitis is painful and can lead to permanent skin changes and ulceration (sores).
  • Cosmetic concerns – many people will feel self-conscious and uncomfortable about large and unsightly veins in their legs. They may try to cover them by wearing slacks and pants, avoid shorts in the summer, and women may wear opaque stockings. Unattractive veins may become a significant social problem.



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