Understanding Varicose Veins -- Symptoms

Medically Reviewed by Debra Jaliman, MD on September 17, 2023
1 min read

Symptoms of varicose veins include:

  • Prominent dark purple or blue blood vessels, visible on the thigh and calf
  • Aching, tender, heavy, or sore legs, often accompanied by swelling in the ankles or feet after standing for a prolonged length of time


  • Symptoms become incapacitating, or the skin over your varicose veins becomes flaky, ulcerated, discolored, or prone to bleeding -- you could be developing stasis dermatitis. If left untreated, stasis dermatitis can lead to skin infections and chronic leg ulcers.
  • You have red, warm, and tender varicose veins. This may be a sign of phlebitis, which is caused by a blood clot in the vein.
  • You have injured a varicose vein. Control the resulting burst of blood with direct compression and leg elevation. Have your veins evaluated by a vein specialist as this can be a potentially serious complication.

Seek emergency medical help for any excessive bleeding or bleeding that does not stop.