Varicose veins: Varicosis
Varicose veins initially do often cause discrete heaviness of the legs. Also itching of the skin over larger varicose veins and nocturnal leg cramps may occur.
In the heat, the symptoms get worse. Women complain of different symptoms in the course of their monthly cycle.
In the advanced stage, the thickened veins are characterized in its typical wavy and branching form through the skin. Water is stored in the tissues, so oedema is provocated.
The skin may turn brown and harden. Occasionally there is a fungal infection of the skin or toenails, their relationship to the varicosity is often misunderstood.
Complications of varicose veins
Varicose veins are not only an aesthetic problem, but have important clinical significance. When the disease progresses, it results to problems of the drainage of the blood, resulting in increased venous pressure in the legs. Further, severe damage of the skin can take place, especially to the lower legs.
The lesion usually manifests itself initially only in discrete and non-specific symptoms, such as (one side reinforced) leg swelling, heaviness, itching or nocturnal leg cramps.
It can lead to scarring of the skin and the underlying tissue (dermato-lipo- fascio sclerosis) as well as the deposition of haemosiderin (iron containing protein), as part of a stasis (stasis dermatitis), inflammation of the superficial veins (superficial thrombosis) to an open leg (ulcer). Some serious, symptoms as a deep vein thrombosis with pulmonary embolism can also occur.