Symptoms of varicose veins include:
- Veins that are dark purple or blue in color
- Veins that appear twisted and bulging; often like cords on your legs
- Itching around one or more of your veins
- Swelling in your lower legs
- Color changes, hardening of the vein, inflammation of the skin or skin ulcers near your ankle, which can mean you have a serious form of vascular disease that requires medical attention
- When painful signs and symptoms occur, they may include:
- Tired, fatigued legs
- Restless legs
- Worsened pain after sitting or standing for a long time
- A heavy or achy feeling in your legs
- Burning, throbbing, and /or muscle cramping in your lower legs
- A painful cord in the vein with red discoloration of the skin
- Bleeding from varicose veins
What do Varicose Veins Look Like?
Varicose veins are larger blood vessels that have become swollen and twisted. They are dark blue or purple and will stick out from the skin like raised tunnels. Varicose veins can develop anywhere in the body, but usually sprout on the legs and ankles.
When Should you Seek Treatment?
If you’ve started to notice potentially unhealthy veins on your body, especially the lower half, it’s best to seek treatment from a vein specialist.
See your doctor if:
- If you develop swelling of the legs or ankles
- If you develop tired, heavy, achy legs that get worse through out the day and are relieved by leg elevation.
- If you’your veins are warm to the touch and very tender
- your veins cause pain
- you are developing sores, rashes, or ulcers on your skin
- if the skin color on your ankle or calf is turning brownish black and if your skin is loosing its suppleness and becoming woody and hard.
- your spider or varicose veins bleed
- If the vein becomes hard, tender to touch, cord like and red.
What Can you Do To Alleviate Varicose Vein Symptoms at Home?
Below are some self-care measures you can take to decrease the discomfort caused by varicose veins. These same measures may help prevent or slow the development of varicose veins, as well. They include:
- Stay active. Walking is a great way to encourage blood circulation in your legs. Your doctor can recommend an appropriate activity level for you.
- Watch your weight and your diet.Loosing excess weight will take pressure off your veins. Eat a low-sodium diet to prevent swelling caused from water retention.
- Watch what you wear.Avoid wearing high heels as low-heeled shoes work calf muscles more, and help improve circulation. Tight clothing can reduce blood flow and are best to avoid, unless compression stockings are recommended by your doctor.
- Elevate your legs.If you can take several short breaks daily to elevate your legs above the level of your heart it can improve the circulation in your legs. Try lying down with your legs resting on three or four pillows.
- Avoid long periods of sitting or standing.Make a point of changing your position frequently to encourage blood flow. Don’t be too stagnant when possible.