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Varicose Veins

What Symptoms Do Varicose Veins Cause?

Last updated on:
14/06/2012

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

In many people, varicose veins cause no symptoms, other than the appearance of the bulging, twisted vein beneath the skin.

However, in some people, symptoms include:

  • An ache in the affected area
  • Swelling of the feet and ankles due to the fluid from stagnant blood leaking through the walls of the veins into surrounding tissues
  • A feeling of heaviness, tiredness, and aching, especially at the end of the day or after periods of prolonged standing
  • Persistent itching of the skin over the affected area
  • Changes in skin color-the skin over the affected area may turn a brownish gray color, especially around the ankles

Varicose veins are often progressive, which means that symptoms may worsen over time. Significant complications are associated with more severe types of varicose veins. Please go to Complications of Varicose Veins.

Need To Know:

People with pain in their legs due to arthritis, narrowed arteries in the legs, and sciatica (pain down one leg due to pressure on a nerve root in the back), may attribute the pain to their varicose veins, when in fact it may be due to one of these other conditions.

Nice To Know:

Because increased progesterone levels are a contributing factor to varicose veins, women may experience more symptoms of varicose veins during their menstrual periods, or the veins may become more noticeable.

 
 

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From Andrew Maynard - Chair of the University of Michigan Department of Environmental Health Sciences, with help from David Faulkner - 2013 Master of Public Health graduate.