Besides the visual appearance, early symptoms of varicose veins include:
- Pain in the legs with tiredness and heaviness in the lower legs
- Swelling of the ankle and lower leg
- Discolored, brownish skin near the ankle
- Restless legs
- Itchy, cramping on lower legs
- Toe nail fungus
Two or more of the above symptoms at or near the same time may be a sign of varicose veins. A rash or skin ulceration on the ankle or lower leg may also be an indication of varicose veins.
Varicose veins are common and aren’t generally associated with more severe health problems. But they can be painful, unattractive and worsen over time. Varicose veins can cause legs and feet to swell, a sense of fatigue or restlessness in leg muscles, and throbbing and cramping at night. The skin surrounding the veins may also itch and burn. In severe cases, venous insufficiency may develop, causing irregular circulation. This can lead to problems like deep-vein thrombosis (a blood clot).
Patients with venous insufficiency often benefit from medical treatment. Left untreated, varicose veins can lead to swelling, increased pain, skin discoloration and ulcers. These ulcers are difficult to treat and can easily become infected and painful. When it comes to varicose veins, early diagnosis and treatment are key.