Veins play a key role in your body’s circulation system. Veins carry blood from the body’s tissues back to the heart for oxygenation. The veins have one-way valves, which keep blood from flowing toward your heart. If the heart becomes weakened or damaged, instead of flowing back to the heart, it could back up and accumulate inside the veins, making them swell. Veins that are swollen and enlarged enough to be noticeable on the skin are known as varicose veins. While St. Louis varicose veins most often develop on the legs, they may occur anywhere on the body. Here are some common warning signs to always watch out for.
- Bulging and Noticeable Veins
The most prominent symptom of varicose veins is the look of protruding, noticeable veins. These symptoms may be blue or dark purple and often appear raised above the skin’s surface. Varicose veins might also look twisted or bumpy.
Noticeable varicose veins indicate that your veins’ valves are not functioning properly, which makes blood build up in the affected region. This accumulation could cause discomfort and swelling.
- Discomfort and Pain
Varicose veins may cause discomfort, cramping, and aching, particularly after long periods of sitting or standing. This discomfort could be sharp or dull and is often accompanied by a feeling of fatigue and heaviness in the affected region. Luckily, you may alleviate this discomfort with heat therapy, getting enough rest, and raising your legs to ease the blood pooling.
Varicose veins may cause inflammation in the affected region, especially in the feet and ankles. This inflammation results from fluid build-up inside the tissues because of blood accumulation within the veins. The inflammation could be mild or serious and frequently causes problems standing or walking for long periods.
- Leg Cramping
Leg cramping is a prevalent symptom of varicose veins, especially at night. These cramps could be uncomfortable and disruptive to your sleep. Leg cramping results from the accumulation of blood in your veins, which results in a derivation in oxygen supply to the tissues in the affected region.
- Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
RLS is a condition, which causes an irresistible desire to move your legs, particularly at night. Individuals with varicose veins are more susceptible to RLS, and the symptoms could be serious enough to affect their sleep quality. This disrupted sleep might be caused by the pain and discomfort caused by varicose veins. However, moving about can relieve you of restless leg syndrome.
- Skin Changes
In some instances, varicose veins may cause changes to your skin in the affected region. The skin might look itchy and dry and develop discoloration or rash. In serious cases, your skin might become discolored or thickened, a common concern known as venous eczema. If not treated, venous eczema can result in open sores, and even ulcers, which cause the risk of amputation, particularly if you have diabetes.
While there are some risk factors for varicose veins, like family history, obesity, sitting or standing for long hours, and more, this condition is not entirely avoidable. However, early identification of growing varicose veins could make a huge difference in how fast and effectively you may have them treated by a varicose vein professional. By catching your vein condition early, you can avoid more serious health concerns like bleeding, blood clotting, deep vein thrombosis, and more. Talk to your doctor if you identify one or more of the warning signs highlighted above, and explore the available care solutions.