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Symptoms and signs of varicose vein disease

A leading sign of vein disease is the dilation and enlargement of the superficial veins. Varicose veins usually starts at the relatively young age in women, usually during or after the pregnancy, and in older people with other risk factors.

The early stages of varicose condition are very difficult to detect and diagnose because there are no significant symptoms or signs of disease.  Some of the early symptoms of varicose veins include heaviness in the legs, mild or minimal leg pain, and leg fatigue. These symptoms are unfortunately can present with other diseases such as arterial disease, flat feet, low back pathology.

The majority of women notice the first signs of varicose veins in the spring when the weather gets warmer. They usually notice new venous patterns that may appear on the feet, legs, and thighs creating a noticeable cosmetic issue. These women are initially concerned about the appearance of their legs and may seek help to eliminate these cosmetic symptoms. If you have thin and pale skin, the dilated veins are clearly visible. The thin trunks of the veins may protrude above the surface and may look like a network of thin bluish capillaries under the skin. Often, there is no discomfort at that stage.

During the progression of vein disease, some veins may protrude above the surface of the skin forming varicose veins.

Usually women notice the first signs of varicose veins in the spring when the weather gets warmer and hemlines get shorter. They may notice that out of nowhere venous patterns may appear on the feet, legs, and thighs creating a noticeable cosmetic problem. These women are only concerned about the appearance of their legs and may turn to a physician only to eliminate these cosmetic symptoms.

As the disease progresses patients may feel fatigue, heaviness or swelling in the calves. Aching, mild pains and especially cramps at night may accompany varicose veins. The significant reduction in these symptoms after walking or a night’s rest is more characteristic of varicose veins pathology.

Here are the main symptoms patients should be aware about:

  1. Pain. The nature of pain can be very different in feel and intensity:
    • Discomfort in the leg
    • Throbbing pain
    • Night cramps, itching or burning
    • Pain when walking
    • Pain along the venous trunks
    • Aching legs
  2. Swelling.
  3. Heaviness in the legs.
  4. Leg fatigue, need to elevate the legs after prolonged standing or sitting.
  5. Spider veins.
  6. Twisted and elongated varicose veins protruding from the surface of the skin in the thighs, legs and feet.
  7. Skin changes, mostly in the ankle area. Initially skin may become dry. Then – the skin darkens, and ankles may covered with brownish "spots".  Later, poorly healing wounds, including the formation of ulcers may develop.

The proper diagnosis cannot be made at home. You should consult a competent and experienced medical professional for further evaluation and management..

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