Varicose veins are enlarged veins that can be blue, red, or flesh-colored. They often look like cords and appear twisted and bulging. They may be swollen and raised above the surface of the skin. Varicose veins are often found on the thighs, backs of the legs, or inside the leg. Spider veins are like varicose veins but smaller and closer to the surface of the skin. Often they are red or blue. They can look like tree branches or spider webs, with their short jagged lines. They can be found on the legs and face and can cover either a very small or very large area of skin.
Severe disease can lead to more serious health problems. Sores or skin ulcers may form, from chronic back-up of blood. They can be painful and hard to heal. The skin over the veins can become thin and easily injured. An injury can cause significant blood loss. Superficial thrombophlebitis is a blood clot in veins just under the skin. Deep vein thrombosis is a blood clot in a deeper vein, with pain, warmth, redness and swelling. If the blood clot travels to the lungs, it can be fatal.
Signs And Symptoms
Varicose and spider veins can usually be seen on the skin. Some other common symptoms in the legs include:
Aching pain that gets worse after sitting or standing for long periods of time
Throbbing or cramping
Rash, with itching
Darkening of the skin, especially around the ankles
Restless legs, especially when in bed. The legs are uncomfortable and wont stay still.
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