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Varicose Veins Symptoms From Minimal To Massive

Varicose veins symptoms can be almost disabling to apparently non-existent. One seemingly minor problem is best grounds for getting treatment. 

Surprisingly even those who previously were unaware of a problem can notice massive changes after having them sorted.

Almost paradoxically when you feel your veins are not affecting you at all, apart from maybe appearance, the changes in your well-being can be dramatic.

Unexpected Benefits

I have treated a number of people with large veins who say they are just getting them done for the looks.  In itself this can be a good reason. 

Varicose veins symptoms prominent veins inner leg

Afterwards both themselves and their partners have commented on noticeable benefits.

Maybe because their veins have been present so long they are not aware of vein related problems.  We often tend to blame getting older for feeling the way we do.

For these people they have noticed increased exercise tolerance or abilities.  They have more energy.

Instead of feeling lethargic they wake up alert and active in the morning.  Their legs feel lighter.  Their mood is generally very positive.

Appearance Only

As I mentioned just the veins’ appearance can be reason for seeking treatment. 

Even then what bothers one person will vary a lot from another.

Subjective Vs Objective

For those with noticeable varicose veins symptoms some can be readily visible to anybody while others are more subjective. 

Most of these are due to the increased back pressure inside varicose veins. 

Often insurance companies have been more compelled to cover the objective, verifiable ones.  There can be less disagreement about them. 

Some definitely carry significant risks to your health.

Objective Varicose Veins Symptoms

Visible problems range from bleeding from shallow varicose veins to eczema caused by them.

Your ankles can swell by the end of the day.  This is more likely to occur with more significant underlying problems.

Ulcers may heal over time but usually take months to years to do so.  Leaving their tell-tale scars.

Less severe than these are changes in your skin usually near the ankle and just above  it.

Varicose veins symptoms pigmentation changesPigmentation Changes

Darker pigmentation can occur. 

Usually a mix of melanin and the iron pigment left behind as red blood cells that have passed through small vessel walls are broken down through the body’s cleaning and remodelling of damaged tissue.

Longer term a scarring type reaction occurs in the skin and subcutaneous, or fat, layer of your skin.  It feels thicker and harder. 

The skin darkens in colour.  At times there can be paler patches. 

These changes are known as lipodermatosclerosis and the lighter patches by their French name atrophe blanche.

At times the varicose veins on the surface, even extending to the draining segment, can develop a local clot. 

The slow flow and blood pooling increase the risk.  A minor knock might set it off. 

Occasionally you notice this as a hard lump.  More commonly it appears as a tender, red area, known as superficial thrombophlebitis.

There is a more serious condition that can occur with the same appearance but with time over multiple areas.

Cellulitis, a local spreading skin level infection, can occur as a red, hot, flat area.  The impaired associated lymphatic circulation will increase your risk of infection. 

Having varicose veins for as little as four years can begin to cause the beginning of lymphatic complications.

Subjective Symptoms

On the more subjective side of varicose veins symptoms many people are aware of the connection of pain

This can vary from simple heaviness and tiredness to aching by the end of the day to pain immediately on standing up. 

These latter people can experience a rushing of blood down their legs as soon as they get up in the morning.

Certain jobs which involve more prolonged standing and sitting usually result in more pain.

At times pain can be present with very little to see that would make you think varicose veins were causing it.

Best Indication For Treatment

In one of the less obvious varicose veins symptoms your legs can feel itchy

Very subjective, surprisingly this problem has the best predictive value for more major problems in your future if your veins are left untreated.  Much more so than pain.

Hormone Effects

Many vein symptoms and their worsening in appearance can be related to certain oestrogens. 

Contraceptive pills and pregnancy both cause this.  A change in combined contraceptive pill type can improve your symptoms.

Cold Peripheries

Some people report an improvement after treatment of their cold hands and feet.  Their partners also comment on this at times.

Your body economises on the energy it uses in keeping you warm by concentrating normal body temperature in the head and trunk.  As blood circulates to your arms and legs the warmer blood being pumped from your heart through your arteries exchanges heat with your veins returning blood back to it.

When varicose veins cause reverse blood flow it seems your body over-compensates at times producing even cooler limbs.

Getting your circulation back to normal with varicose vein treatments seems to overcome this effect.

Walking On Water

I have seen people who have reported feeling like they were walking on cushions all the time.  Usually worse by the end of the day.

After their vein treatment this vanished.

The most likely explanation is that fluid was accumulating in the tissues in the soles of their feet.  Even a small change in this tightly bound area can feel massive.

Disputed Varicose Veins Symptoms

Then there a couple of varicose veins symptoms that not all working in veins agree are related to the problem. 

But in my experience an overwhelming percentage notice these two situations improve or disappear after vein treatment.

Night Cramps

One is cramps.  Specifically at night. 

There can other causes for cramps easily seen in athletes and in hot climates.

To me it seems veins have a similar reason for causing this as well as the other disputed symptom.

Restless Legs

That is restless legs.  It is felt that the trigger for these is the fluid accumulating in the tissues over the day. 

Your lymphatics rely on a slow natural pulse from the vessel wall smooth muscles to clear fluid from your tissues.  It is accelerated by the pumping action of your muscle contractions. 

Restless legs seem to be an exaggeration of this natural action.

Varicose veins symptoms are many and varied.  Fortunately most people have only a few.

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