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Varicose Veins (cont.)

Varicose Vein Symptoms

Varicose veins are relatively easy to identify and can be a cosmetic nuisance for many people.

  • They protrude or bulge from under the skin and feel ropey
  • The legs often ache and feel heavy and itchy
  • Symptoms can intensify after a long day of standing the feet
  • A person may have severe pain upon standing or even have cramps in the legs at night.

Varicose veins can be more prominent or first appear during menstruation or pregnancy, and they may be more bothersome during these times.

Some people may have no symptoms at all. For most people, varicose veins are mainly a cosmetic problem.

Varicose veins are prone to developing superficial thrombophlebitis, which is a blood clot along with inflammation of a segment of vein.

  • Blood clots in the superficial veins are easy to detect and troublesome but are usually harmless.
  • A person may feel an area of tenderness and pain in the varicose vein, along with redness and swelling.
  • The area may also feel hard or firm.
  • Sometimes such areas can represent infection within the vein, so it is a good idea to visit a health care professional if a person develops any of these symptoms.
  • This condition is not to be confused with a deep vein thrombophlebitis, which is a blood clot in a deep vein. Deep vein thrombophlebitis (DVT) is more serious because of the clot's potential to travel toward the heart and lodge in the lung (pulmonary embolism). This condition requires emergent admission to the hospital for treatment with blood thinning medications.
Last Reviewed 11/17/2017
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Phlebitis Phlebitis is the inflammation of a vein. Superficial phlebitis affects the veins on the surface of the skin. Deep vein thrombophlebitis affects the larger veins...learn more >>

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Varicose Veins »

The description of varicose veins as a clinical entity can be traced back as early as the fifth century BC.

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