Warning signs of varicose veinsVaricose veins get ignored for the same reason that they get noticed-Unsightly. Varicose veins are a chronic condition and once formed they do not go away. They are not just a cosmetic nuisance and patients who are not bothered about the appearance tend to ignore the early warning signs as well. Timeline is the tag line in veins disease. It progresses in stages and if the early signs are ignored, the disease gets worse over time.
1: Restless & Aches - Pain is not a common feature of varicose veins until later complications arise. They initially tend to cause aches, heaviness, cramping, tiredness and restless legs
2: Sock line & Swelling - As the fluid pools in the legs due to pressure in the vein, you would notice ‘Sock line’ marks at the ankles later in the day. This progresses to swelling in the ankle area
3: Itching & Eczema - Itching around the veins is a sign of early damage to the skin as the fluid seeps under the skin. Eczema then occurs in these areas due to further inflammation. The Eczema might initially respond to skin creams. But recurring or persisting eczema at the ankles or near veins should be investigated
4: Phlebitis & Pain - Phlebitis is not an infection! This is inflammation caused by congealed blood due to pooling within the varicose veins. Repeated phlebitis can thin the veins and lead to skin damage and bleeding veins. Extension of phlebitis into the larger deeper veins can pose a serious issue.5: Discolouration or Pigmentation: Brown discolouration especially around ankles and veins is caused by leaked blood cells from the damaged veins. This is a sign of chronic damage to the veins. Chronic persisting inflammation causes hardening of the skin around the ankles and may lead to skin break down and ulcer formationVenous leg ulcers are not an old person’s disease; it is a progressive disease of the future. Be aware of the Timeline. You may be that person who had ignored the early warning signs.