Varicose Veins Symptoms

Swollen, aching legs that feel "heavy," numbness in the legs, and itching on the legs are some of the symptoms of varicose veins. If left untreated, varicose veins can become more severe, and they can even lead to other health problems, such as blood clots.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Varicose Veins

Some common varicose veins symptoms include:
  • Aching pain
  • Easily tired legs
  • Leg heaviness
  • Swelling in the legs
  • Darkening of the skin (in severe cases)
  • Numbness in the legs
  • Itching or irritated rash on the legs.

Varicose Veins Symptoms and Other Health Conditions

Varicose veins usually enlarge and worsen over time, causing the symptoms to worsen. Severe varicose veins can even cause health problems. These include:
  • Severe venous insufficiency. This severe pooling of blood in the veins slows the return of blood to the heart. This condition can cause blood clots and severe infections. Blood clots can be dangerous, because they can move from leg veins and travel to the lungs. Blood clots in the lungs are life-threatening, because they can keep the heart and lungs from functioning.
  • Sores or skin ulcers that can occur on skin tissue around varicose veins.
  • Ongoing irritation, swelling, and painful rashes on the legs.

When to See a Doctor

When deciding whether to see your doctor about varicose vein symptoms, consider if the veins have become swollen, red, or very tender or warm to the touch. If they have, see your doctor. If they have not, but there are sores or a rash on the leg or near the ankle with the varicose vein, or you think there may be circulation problems in your feet, see your doctor.
(Click Prevention of Varicose Veins to learn about self-care tips for dealing with varicose veins.)

Information About Varicose Veins

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