Five signs of vein disease: The subtle symptoms to look out for

Five signs of vein disease: The subtle symptoms to look out for

04/02/2022

Chris Evans discusses ‘traumatic’ varicose vein surgery

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Varicose veins can cause problems if not treated, but lots of people don’t realise they even have vein disease because they aren’t familiar with the most common symptoms of diseased veins. Don’t put up with pain and discomfort! Express.co.uk chatted to UK Vein Clinic to find out the five most common signs of vein disease.

Veins play a vital part in the circulatory system as they pump deoxygenated blood from your organs back to your heart, using tiny valves in the veins to do so.

When you have vein disease, these valves are damaged or fail and blood can pool and collect in the vein causing swelling and other issues.

Vein disease isn’t limited to the elderly – anyone, regardless of their age, gender, or underlying health conditions can have vein disease.

Nevertheless, there are certain demographics who are more at risk, including pregnant women and those who spend most of the day on their feet.

It’s really important to know the top signs of vein disease because, even though it’s progressive, it can be managed through non-invasive treatments.

These treatments can improve day to day symptoms and help you avoid complications in the future, so it’s key to spot the disease early on.

Ed Sideso, Vascular Consultant and Surgeon at UK Vein Clinic has revealed five signs that may indicate you have vein disease.

Prominent veins

One of the most common early signs of vein disease is that your veins, particularly those on your legs, appear more prominent.

When the valves in veins become tired or damaged, the blood flowing through them to the heart can flow towards different parts of the body.

This reduces the amount of blood that is circulating and increases the size of the veins where it has collected.

These enlarged veins, known as varicose veins, are often more visible against the skin’s surface and appear larger, which can cause feelings of insecurity.

Inflammation of veins

In addition to being caused by the breakdown of vein walls and damaged valves, inflammation of veins can often be triggered by thrombosis, which is a clot within the veins.

Symptoms of inflammation caused by thrombosis include redness of the skin and painful hard lumps underneath the skin.

Whilst inflammation caused by thrombosis will often reduce, thrombosis can be dangerous, particularly if the blood clot(s) in your vein break loose and get stuck in other parts of the body, such as the lungs, as they travel through your bloodstream.

Therefore, it’s important to tell your doctor if inflammation develops, even after treatment for pre-existing varicose veins.

Bleeding varicose veins

As varicose veins are larger and therefore closer to the skin’s surface than non-diseased veins, they are more vulnerable to impact.

If you find that you are bleeding more easily after experiencing impact or knocking something, then this may be a sign that you have vein disease.

For those who have already identified varicose veins in their body, bleeding after knocking this vein or the surrounding area indicates that you may require further treatment or complications to the veins may have occurred.

Changes to skin

Whilst many of the symptoms associated with vein disease revolve around the appearance and discomfort of varicose veins, vein disorders can manifest in other ways, including in the skin.

Changes to the skin, particularly around your ankle and leg, should be monitored as this can be an indication that you have diseased veins or are at risk of further issues.

As circulation deteriorates, the skin can start to look shiny, as it thins, whilst it can also become harder and drier, leading to skin cracking.

The breakdown of skin can cause an ulcer to appear – not only painful and uncomfortable, but ulcers caused by vein disease are also at risk of infection.

Heaviness and Aching in Legs

Heaviness and swelling in the leg, especially towards the end of the day, is common for those with vein disease, and it can develop with or without the presence of visually prominent veins.

Those suffering from vein disease can also frequently experience aching and itchiness around the surrounding area, so a sudden increase in these sensations may be an indicator that your vein health is declining.

Both heaviness in the leg and prominent veins indicate underlying issues with veins and, if you are affected by both symptoms, then it is likely you have damaged or diseased veins and you should arrange a consultation with your doctor or a vein specialist.

However, there are also signs that you have a more serious vein disease that requires urgent treatment, or that you have experienced complications after treatment for varicose veins and should seek further help.

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