What are the symptoms of varicose veins?
Many people that have varicose veins are entirely asymptomatic, that is, they have no symptoms other then possibly unsightly veins. The main problem may be cosmetic, not being able to wear shorts or bathing suits or feeling embarrassed. In the individuals who are symptomatic the symptoms may vary from minimal to severe. Feelings of heaviness or fatigue in
the legs, particularly at the end of the day are the most common symptoms. In women, the varicosities may be painful just before and/or during menstruation. In more severe situations there may be itching or discomfort over the area of the affected veins. Frequently swelling, changes in pigmentation, skin rashes or even pain may occur. In the late stages marked irritation of the skin (stasis dermatitis), brownish discoloration and ulceration of the skin can occur.
In many people, varicose veins cause no symptoms, other than the appearance of the bulging, twisted vein beneath the skin. However, in some people, symptoms include: An ache in the affected area; Swelling of the feet and ankles due to the fluid from stagnant blood leaking through the walls of the veins into surrounding tissues; A feeling of heaviness, tiredness, and aching, especially at the end of the day or after periods of prolonged standing; Persistent itching of the skin over the affected area; Changes in skin color-the skin over the affected area may turn a brownish gray color, especially around the ankles
Varicose veins are often progressive, which means that symptoms may worsen over time.