Varicose are large, rope-like veins that are generally the diameter of ¼ inch or larger and possess deteriorated or diseased valves. These occasionally appear to budge, twist or contain a much darker pigment. For some patients, varicose veins are merely a cosmetic abnormality, but the majority of individuals can suffer serious discomfort and pain that may affect a person’s ability to experience normal activities on a day-to-day basis, such as walking upstairs or prolonged standing. The presence of varicose veins are often an indication of a further underlying condition known as chronic venous insufficiency (venous disease).
Symptoms that are associated with varicose veins / chronic venous insufficiency of the lower extremities include:
- Feeling of heaviness in the legs
- Restless legs
- Throbbing or burning in your legs
- Varicose veins / spider veins
- Severe itching or dryness
- Aching and uncomfortable “fatigued” legs
- Muscle cramping in your legs (particularly at night)
- Swollen feet and ankles
- Bleeding and/or ulceration
- Skin color changes
Normally these symptoms can be aggravated further by long periods of standing up and will worsen in warmer weather.