Varicose Veins Overview
Varicose veins are veins that are either over stretched, enlarged or swollen, usually in the legs, which can be felt under the skin and sometimes prominently visible to the eye.
They can also appear in the feet and other parts of the body.
Varicose veins can vary in how they look and feel. They are often lumpy, can appear to bulge the skin and be purple / blue in appearance.
For people with varicose veins, symptoms can often be felt in a number of ways and can be worse in different conditions, such as hot weather or if you stand for a long time at work. Sometimes moving about or raising your legs when you sit down can help ease symptoms.
Common symptoms of varicose veins include:
- Swollen ankles
- Swollen feet
- A burning sensation in legs
- Leg muscle cramps
- Itchy, dry skin on or around the affected area.
A varicose vein can develop when your blood does not flow as it should through the affected area.
Blood should flow in one direction, via the valves inside your veins.
However, issues with the vein valves can sometimes result in the blood flowing backwards and pooling in the vein. The increased pressure can cause swelling in the vein.
If this occurs in the veins that are near the surface of your skin (also known as a superficial vein), a varicose vein can develop.
Many people who do not have symptoms of discomfort, often do not feel that varicose veins are bothersome.
Whereas others can be deeply affected by the appearance of varicose veins and feel they need to seek help.
There are many treatments available for varicose veins, which can be assessed during a consultation and advised upon by a vein specialist.