Varicose veins are bulging, twisted, and enlarged veins that usually occur on the lower half of your body, particularly on your legs. Causes can range from pregnancy and obesity to age and the amount of time you spend standing. If they run in your family, you are more likely to get them, and females are more likely than males, though they can occur in both sexes.
Most of the time, varicose veins are more of an embarrassment when you want to wear shorts, skirts, and bathing suits than a health concern, though they can cause some pain. Patients with varicose veins may experience burning, itching, and throbbing, especially if they have been on their feet for long periods of time. However, there are some indications that your varicose veins could become something a little more dangerous. If you notice any of the following signs or symptoms, it may be time to visit a doctor:
1. Varicose veins that appear suddenly or suddenly increase in appearance
2. Swelling of the veins, the skin around the veins, or your entire leg
3. General heavy and achy feelings in your legs, even when you have not been standing for long periods of time
4. Blood oozing from a varicose vein
5. Red discoloration of the skin around a vein
6. Veins that harden or show a significant change in color
7. Open sores or ulcers on your legs that appear for no reason, especially around the ankles
8. Veins that become tender or feel warm to the touch
9. Skin around the veins that becomes inflamed, dry, or scaly
These signs can be an indication of serious complications, such as blood clots, ulcers, or vascular disease. If you suspect a blood clot, it is important to get to an emergency room as quickly as possible. Sudden swelling in the leg is the most common symptom for blood clots.
For minor aches and pains associated with your varicose veins, consider some self-care at home. Compression stockings can help ease the pain. Getting more exercise and losing weight if you are overweight or obese can also help. Avoid sitting or standing in one position for long periods of time, and if you must, elevate your legs whenever possible. Never cross your legs when you sit, and be sure to get plenty of exercise every day to increase your circulation. If these do not work or you are still concerned with the appearance of your veins, a doctor can talk to you about the many treatment options available to you.