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Skin Problems & Treatments Health Center

Varicose Veins - Symptoms

You may not have symptoms with varicose veins. Most people identify varicose veins by the appearance of twisted, swollen, bluish veins just beneath the skin.

If you have symptoms of varicose veins, they tend to be mild and may include:

  • A dull ache, burning, or heaviness in the legs. These symptoms may be more noticeable late in the day or after you have been sitting or standing for a long time.
  • Mild swelling, usually involving the feet and ankles only.
  • Itching skin over the varicose vein.

More severe symptoms or complications include:

  • A buildup of fluid and swelling in the leg.
  • Significant swelling and calf pain after sitting or standing for a long time.
  • Skin color changes (stasis pigmentation) around the ankles and lower legs.
  • Dry, stretched, swollen, itching, or scaling skin.
  • Superficial thrombophlebitis (when a blood clot and inflammation develop in a small vein near the surface of the skin).
  • Open sores (ulcerations).
  • Bleeding and/or bruising after a minor injury.

Symptoms of varicose veins may become more severe a few days before and during a woman's menstrual period.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 17, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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