Varicose veins are enlarged, swollen veins that bulge out of the skin. Varicose veins are different in appearance from spider veins, which are tiny dilated capillaries that do not protrude. Both, however, are caused by venous insufficiency, or abnormal backward flow of venous blood.

You can relieve these symptoms for short periods of time by resting, elevating, or supporting the legs. But if venous insufficiency becomes more severe and is left untreated, it can lead to progressively severe problems called venous stasis changes. This causes the overlying skin tissue to be damaged by the pooling of blood.

Early symptoms of varicose veins include swelling and skin discoloration. If the condition worsens, it may cause the skin to break down and lead to open sores and ulcers. You may also experience varicose vein symptoms like pain, aching, fatigue, swelling, leg heaviness, burning, and itching.

Medical attention should be sought if you experience these symptoms.


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