Varicose veins are enlarged, swollen, twisting veins appearing often in blue or dark purple in color. They are swollen blood vessels that appear just under the skin’s surface in the lower body. Varicose veins usually affect the veins in the legs. That’s because walking and standing increase the pressure in the veins of the lower body.
What are the symptoms of Varicose Veins?
The most common indication is a gnarled, blue or purple vein just under the skin’s surface. However, symptoms may also include:
- Bulging veins: Twisted, swollen, rope-like veins are often blue or purple. They appear on your legs, ankles, and feet just below the skin’s surface. They may grow in clusters. Spider veins, tiny red or blue lines, might be seen nearby.
- Itching: The area around varicose veins may itch.
- Heavy legs: Muscles in your legs may feel tired, sluggish or heavy, particularly after physical activity.
- Pain: Legs may be painful or sore, mostly behind your knees. You may experience muscle cramps.
- Skin discolorations and ulcers: If left untreated, varicose veins can lead to brown discolorations on your skin. Severe varicose veins can cause venous ulcers (sores) on your skin.
- Swelling: Your feet, ankles and legs may swell and throb.
What causes Varicose Veins?
When the walls of your veins deteriorate, varicose veins develop. The weakened walls of your vein allow it to expand as blood pressure increases within it. The valves in your vein that keep blood flowing in one direction can’t function properly as your vein stretches. Sluggish blood accumulates or pools in your vein, causing it to enlarge, bulge, and twist.
Vein walls and valves can become weak for several reasons which include:
- Excess weight.
- Pressure inside the vein from standing for long periods.
- The aging process.
- Restrictive clothing.
Are you suffering from this condition? At The Chelsea Clinic, we can help. One of our podiatrist can assist and then recommend what treatments are best to get you back on track.
Schedule an appointment here or you may call us at +44 (0) 207 101 4000.