Varicose veins are swollen veins that appear as bulging cords close to the skin’s surface. These veins are visible swollen with blood and appear twisted and bluish in color. Varicose veins most often occur in legs and feet though may affect other body regions.
Varicose veins are a relatively common condition resulting from improper venous function causing the pooling of blood in veins. Varicose veins can be caused by:
- Vein valve malformations
- Thrombophlebitis (inflammation of the vein wall)
- Extended time standing on your feet without movement
Varicose veins most commonly include tangled, painful, and/or raised veins in legs, feet, or buttocks. More severe cases can include swelling, excessive pain, bleeding, visible blood clots and ulcers which require immediate medical attention and treatment.
The most common symptoms include:
- Enlarged and swollen veins
- Veins that appear bluish to dark purple in color
- Twisted, bulging, cord-like veins underneath the skin’s surface
- Heavy, achy feeling in legs/feet
- Muscle cramping and swelling of legs
- Itching around veins
- Hardening of the vein and tissue under the skin’s surface
- Bruising and skin discoloration
- Visible veins
Varicose veins are often misunderstood as a cosmetic problem and many people living with them do not seek treatment. The good news is that there are minimally invasive treatment options available for varicose veins and CVI.
Your doctor can help you decide which treatment option is best for you.
For more information on varicose veins, visit these resources: