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Varicose Veins Feet - Tip of an Iceberg

Varicose veins feet sounds rather limited.  What if that is all you can see?  Is it important?

Feet are very visible.  That and ankles.  You can hide most other parts of your legs under trousers, tights and other garments.

But with open shoes, sandals and summer weather they are difficult to conceal.  They will show at some stage. 

People you want close to you will definitely see your feet.

So should you do something about them if that is all there is?

Foot model to demonstrate major veins and arteries for varicose veins feet

From the diagram above you can see how the vein in front of the inside ankle bone tracks from there across the top of your foot.  It curves over your foot and up and backwards to the outside. 

From there it dives behind the back of the outside of your ankle.  It seems to disappear. 

But it connects with the vein in the back of your calf.

Underlying Connections

The one on the inside is an extension of the long saphenous vein (which I will talk about more if you are interested). 

The one at the back is the short saphenous vein (more on that too). 

Both these veins are well below the  surface of the skin.  Actually located on the surface of your muscle in their own compartment. 

So these two main skin draining veins can have problems.  They might have defects I mention in the causes of varicose veins

If so when your muscles relax back flow of blood can occur into the skin veins they are meant to drain.

Varicose veins feet demonstrated with large one in inner aspect of footLarge foot varicosity extending from the long saphenous vein

This might occur at the foot only. 

As you can see from the diagram above there are also connections to small veins in the foot.  As these fail they could be the only presentation of your deeper seated problem. 

As the feet are the furthest part of you from your heart they will experience the greatest back pressure.  Especially when you are standing.

Varicose Veins Feet Problems

Local Swelling

Some people experience pain and problems only in their feet.  In some instances it might be just a feeling of walking on cushions. 

As the back pressure builds fluid can drain into the tissues the veins are supposed to drain. 

Especially in the sole of your foot where structures are tightly bound even a little fluid collection can feel enormous.


Likewise pain can be significant in your feet purely from the height of the water column pushing backwards.

Skin Changes

Usually dry skin and eczema appears about ankles and feet.  At times it can be just the foot instep.

Varicose veins feet visible on top of feetExample of foot varicose veins over top of feet

Deeper Views

Checking your full leg veins with ultrasound imaging it is possible to see the full extent of your problem.  This also aids in planning your treatment. 

Unless the fault above your foot is treated any local varicose veins feet treatment will fail on its own.

Special Considerations

Also you should bear in mind some important points. 

Circulation in the foot is a little different from further up the leg. 

There are more direct connections to your deeper veins - part of the actual deep venous system.

Treatment Variations

Too aggressive treatment can produce complications in your deep veins. 

You definitely want to avoid those. 

For this reason some therapists will avoid treating feet altogether.  You are left with visible problems in the one part of your lower limbs that will be seen. 

But careful treatment with an experienced operator should significantly improve your varicose veins feet.

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