Symptoms and Treatments of Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are blood vessels that have swollen, grown too big, and twisted, sticking out just below the skin’s surface. It’s possible for varicose veins to form in any superficial vein. Varicose veins usually start in the veins in the legs, feet, and ankles. This is because both standing and walking raise blood pressure in the legs’ veins.

They can cause discomfort or itchiness. Spider veins are thinner red or purple lines that form near the skin’s surface and may surround varicose veins. Varicose veins aren’t dangerous for most people, even though they can be unattractive and painful. Severe occurrences of varicose veins have been linked to health issues like blood clots. Most varicose vein symptoms can be treated medically through injections, laser therapy, or surgery; however, others can be treated at home.

In this article, we will get to know about the symptoms, causes, treatments, and much more about varicose veins, while the treatment options mainly include self-care and medical procedures to either seal or eliminate the veins.

Symptoms of Varicose Veins

Sometimes, varicose veins don’t hurt. Varicose vein symptoms consist of the following:

  • Having deep purple or blue veins
  • Varicose veins, often known as spider veins, are enlarged and twisted.

The most visible and noticeable symptom of painful varicose veins is a twisted, blue, or purple vein beneath the skin’s surface. Examples of symptoms include:

  • Veins that bulge out are typically a shade of blue or purple and have a twisted, rope-like appearance. They manifest in the skin right beneath the surface of your lower extremities. A number of them can form at once. A cluster of tiny red or blue lines (spider veins) may be nearby.
  • Your leg muscles may feel fatigued, heavy, or sluggish, especially after exercise.
  • Itching is a common symptom of varicose veins.
  • Leg pain is possible, especially in the area behind the knees. Muscle cramping could occur.
  • Swelling can occur in the lower extremities, causing pain and discomfort.
  • Discoloration of the skin (brown) and ulcers might develop if varicose veins are not treated. Venous ulcers (sores) on the skin are a common complication of severe varicose veins.
  • Discomfort that increases after prolonged sitting or standing.

Causes of Varicose Veins

Varicose veins can develop if the veins’ valves are broken or too weak to prevent blood from leaking backward. Blood leaves the heart and travels through arteries to the rest of the body. Blood flows through veins back to the heart from the rest of the body. Venules in the legs defy gravity to pump blood back to the heart.

The pumping action of the lower leg muscles and the elasticity of the vein walls help the blood get back to the heart. Veins are equipped with tiny valves that open to allow blood to flow toward the heart and seal to prevent the reverse flow of blood. Blood can pool in the veins and cause them to bulge or twist if the valves that prevent backflow are broken or weak.

Risk Factors of Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are more likely to appear if any of the following factors are present:


Vessel valves’ ability to regulate blood flow deteriorates with age. When the valves wear down, blood might leak back into the veins and pool.


This disorder most commonly affects females. Because female hormones tend to relax vein walls, they might play a role just before menstruation, during pregnancy, and after menopause. Like birth control pills, hormone treatments can make you more likely to get varicose veins.


The body’s blood volume rises during pregnancy. This adjustment helps the baby grow, but it might cause the veins in the legs to swell.

Family History

There is a higher probability that you might develop varicose veins if other family members have them.


When you’re overweight, your veins already have to deal with extra pressure.

Long periods of standing or sitting. Movement improves blood flow.

Complications One Might Face due to Varicose Veins

Although uncommon, varicose vein complications might include:


Skin ulcers, especially around the ankles, are a painful complication of varicose veins. Typically, the skin develops a darkened area before an ulcer starts. If you suspect that you have a leg ulcer, see your doctor right away.

Blood Clots

Leg discomfort and swelling can result from an enlarged vein deep within the leg. Consistent discomfort or swelling in the legs should prompt a visit to the doctor, as these could be signs of a blood clot.


Veins that are very close to the skin’s surface can sometimes burst. In most cases, this only results in minimal bleeding, but it still necessitates a trip to the doctor.


Varicose veins can be treated with at-home care, compression stockings, and medical procedures or operations. Most treatments for varicose veins don’t require you to stay in the hospital, so you can go home the same day. Find out if your health insurance covers the cost of treating your varicose veins. Insurance may not pay the expense of treating varicose veins if they are removed for cosmetic reasons.


Varicose veins can be treated and even prevented with self-care measures like walking, elevating the legs when sitting or lying down, and donning compression stockings.

Knee-high stockings with compression

The first line of defense is usually using compression stockings throughout the day. The compression of the stockings aids blood circulation in the veins and calf muscles. As with most things, the degree of compression is brand and product specific.

In today’s modern world, compression stockings can be purchased at virtually any drugstore or medical supply store. If you’re experiencing symptoms from varicose veins, you can get prescription-strength stockings, which your insurance company might even pay for.

Operations and Other Therapeutic Measures for Varicose Veins

If the self-care measures and compression stockings fail, or if the varicose veins are more severe, a doctor might recommend:


Veins that have gotten bigger because of varicose veins can be closed by scar tissue that forms; after a solution or foam is injected into them. Varicose veins that have been treated typically disappear within a few weeks. Many injections into the same vein may be necessary. Sclerotherapy is a non-invasive procedure that can be done without sedation in the doctor’s office.

Laser Treatment

Radiofrequency and laser, and catheter-based procedures can help a lot in dealing with varicose veins. Larger varicose veins are best treated with this operation. Medical professional threads a thin tube, called a catheter, into a vein that is bigger than usual. The tip of the catheter is heated by radiofrequency or laser energy while it is in the vein. The heat from the catheter’s removal causes the vein to compress, seal shut, and destroy it.

High ligation and vein stripping

During this surgery, a vein is tied off just before it enters a larger vein, and then it is surgically removed through tiny incisions. Most patients can avoid hospitalization by having this done. Even if you remove the vein, blood will flow through the leg because bigger volumes of blood are carried by veins deeper in the leg.

Ambulatory phlebectomy

Smaller varicose veins are removed by a medical professional by making a series of very small punctures in the skin. This outpatient technique involves numbing the leg only where needles will be inserted. Scarring is usually not severe.


You should raise your legs above your waist several times a day to improve blood flow and relieve pressure in your veins.

Elastic Stockings

Wearing compression stockings or socks might help ease the pain associated with varicose veins. Because of the compression, your veins won’t be able to expand, which improves blood circulation.

Red Light Therapy

Red light therapy is a highly popular and beneficial therapy, as it helps deal with various physical and mental health issues, especially different skin-related problems. It can also help with varicose veins.

In this procedure, the veins are exposed to strong red light from a light therapy device. This makes the veins get smaller and eventually go away. Needles and incisions are not required at all. Endovenous thermal ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that closes off a diseased vein using a catheter (a long, thin tube) and a laser.

Vein Surgery

During these procedures, the surgeon will ligate (tie off) the damaged vein to stop blood from getting stuck in it again. The surgeon may remove the vein (known medically as a “strip”) to avoid further episodes of varicose veins.

Final Words

Varicose veins are a common condition affecting millions worldwide. Varicose veins are a cosmetic issue rather than a health one for most people. Symptoms can be relieved and kept from getting worse by making changes to one’s lifestyle and using natural therapies. Talk to your doctor about safe, minimally invasive ways to treat your varicose veins to make you feel and look better.

Numerous people have them without experiencing any ill effects. If varicose veins are a problem, there are certain things you can do at home that might alleviate the condition. You could also consult your doctor for advice on various options. Remember that it is possible to develop varicose veins again, even after undergoing treatment. However, make sure to have a discussion with your doctor about your treatment options beforehand.

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