Varicose veins are large, rope-like veins which are generally ¼ inch or larger in diameter and possess diseased or deteriorated valves. These sometimes appear to twist or budge and contain a much darker pigment. For some patient’s varicose veins present merely a cosmetic abnormality, but the majority of patients can suffer significant pain or discomfort that can affect a person’s ability to complete normal activities of daily living such as walking upstairs or prolonged standing. The presence of varicose veins are typically an indication of a further underlying condition known as chronic venous insufficiency (venous disease).
Symptoms that have been associated with chronic venous insufficiency / varicose veins of the lower extremities include:
- Aching and uncomfortable “fatigued” legs
- Feeling of heaviness in the legs
- Swollen feet and ankles
- Throbbing or burning in your legs
- Severe itchiness or dryness
- Skin color changes
- Muscle cramping in your legs (particularly at night)
- Restless legs
- Varicose veins / spider veins
- Bleeding and/or ulceration
Typically if you have these symptoms, they are aggravated further by standing up for long periods of time and will be worse in warmer weather.