Most people suffering with varicose veins will only have to deal with being embarrassed to wear shorts in front of other people. In most cases, varicose veins show up on the legs as a symptom of aging or long-term wear and tear, like standing for long periods of time at your job. However, some people may experience complications with varicose veins that could indicate a more serious condition. Find out whether or not you need to seek medical attention for varicose veins in your legs.
Pain and Swelling In Your Legs
In a normal case of varicose veins, you may never experience pain because of them. If you do begin to experience pain and swelling in your legs, especially if the pain stems directly from an area of visible veins, seeking medical attention is advised. Pain and swelling in your legs because of varicose veins could because of a condition called venous insufficiency, also called chronic venous stasis. Symptoms of venous insufficiency may include:
- Heaviness in your legs
- Dull, throbbing aches in one or both legs
- Pain in your legs when you stand up
- Noticeable swelling
Treatment for venous insufficiency might include longer periods of rest and wearing support stockings. In some more extreme cases, a common surgical intervention called vein stripping may be necessary. Your health care provider will determine the best vein treatment for you.
Venous Stasis Ulcers Usually Appear on the Ankles
One complication of varicose veins is called a venous ulcer, which is the occurrence of open sores (ulcers) on the ankles. In most people suffering with these kinds of ulcers, painful varicose veins and edema in the ankles and lower legs are early symptoms. Edema describes extreme swelling and fluid buildup. Other warning signs that a venous stasis ulcer is imminent include:
- Calloused areas on the ankles and lower legs
- Changes in the skin that appear as yellow, hardened bumps
- Skin color changes to dark brown
Venous stasis ulcers can be an early symptom of heart troubles. If you have noticed any of the above symptoms and you have had varicose veins for a long while, seeking the advice of your doctor is recommended.
Pain and Swelling in Your Legs Can Mean Deep Vein Thrombosis
Not everyone experiences blood clots when varicose veins develop in their legs. However, if you are experiencing these symptoms in one or both of your legs, you may be seeing the signs of a condition called deep vein thrombosis:
- Pain that does not go away
- Swelling that is associated with tenderness to the touch
- Warmth and redness of affected leg
If you have these symptoms and also begin to experience shortness of breath, you should seek medical treatment as soon as possible. The danger of a blood clot in your leg is not the clot being there, but if some it breaks away and flows through your blood stream to your lungs. When blood clots or pieces of one make it to the lungs, it is called a pulmonary embolism, a deadly condition.
If you have varicose veins, keeping an eye out for unusual pain and swelling is a good idea. Seeking vein treatment from a specialist, such as Carolina Vein Institute, is also a good way to avoid further complications that sometimes happen in people suffering with varicose veins.