Your On-line Resource for Vein Treatment Information

Symptoms of Vein Disease

Symptoms of varicose veins and other vein diseases come in many forms and should be taken seriously. Sometimes symptoms (including bulging veins, blue veins and enlarged veins) are indicative of an underlying condition (venous reflux), which can progressively get worse over time if not treated.

Most vein symptoms are worse at the end of the day, around the time of a menstrual period, in hot weather, and with prolonged standing or sitting. Symptoms are often improved with leg elevation, aerobic activity and compression stockings.

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms in your legs, you may want to consider being evaluated by a vein specialist who can differentiate vein disease from mere cosmetic concerns:

Vein Symptoms

Swelling – Swelling or edema may occur in the lower part of the leg, usually around the ankle or in the feet. This is often more pronounced after longer periods of standing or sitting. Swelling often indicates vein problems occurring below the surface of the skin. An evaluation by a vein specialist should be sought.


Varicose veins in leg

Bulging Veins and Enlarged Veins – Bulging veins that are swollen and raised above the skin surface (generally called 'varicose veins') can occur anywhere on the leg, but are most often found on the inner thigh and/or the inner lower leg or calf. These may often be described as ‘ropey’ in appearance.


spider veins pre-injection

Red or Blue Veins – Small red or blue veins found closer to the skin surface (generally called 'spider veins'). Red or blue veins may vary in size, but are often web-like with branches like a tree.

Burning or Throbbing Veins – Sensations of muscles cramping and veins that may be warm to the touch

Bleeding – Bleeding may be due to a ruptured surface vein or more rarely be associated with a venous ulcer, one of the most severe forms of vein disease. This most often occurs on the lower leg or ankle. You should elevate your leg, apply pressure over the bleeding site, and seek medical help immediately.


Other Symptoms of Varicose Veins or Other Vein Disease May Include:

  • Skin Discoloration – Change of skin color (darkening) in areas around the affected veins. Can be brown or red and is often shiny. Certain conditions may cause whitening or hardening of the skin.
  • Leg Pain – Severe tenderness of your veins, especially when sensitive to touch.
  • Tired, Heavy, Aching Feeling – Often a dull achiness that feels worse at night
  • Itching – An irritated rash or strong itching sensation on or near your veins. This may lead to severely dry skin and can be a form of eczema.
  • Numbness – Lack of sensation or a tingling feeling

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, you may want to explore our Vein Conditions pages and subsequent Vein Treatment options. However, only an experienced vein treatment specialist can diagnose whether any of the above symptoms are indicative of vein disease or from another cause, and which treatment (if any) may be appropriate for you.

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