Varicose veins - Symptoms 

Symptoms of varicose veins 

Varicose veins are dark purple or blue in colour and usually twisted and bulging in appearance. Some people with varicose veins may experience pain or discomfort.

As well as their distinctive appearance, symptoms of varicose veins can include:

  • aching, heavy and uncomfortable legs
  • swollen feet and ankles
  • burning or throbbing in your legs
  • muscle cramp in your legs, particularly at night
  • dry, itchy and thin skin over the affected vein

These symptoms are usually worse during warm weather or if you've been standing up for long periods of time. They may improve when you walk around or if you rest and raise your legs. Pillows are a good way to raise your legs comfortably.

Varicose veins usually develop on the legs, either on the back of your calf or on the inside of your leg. However, they can also sometimes occur in other parts of your body, such as your:

  • gullet (oesophagus)
  • womb (uterus)
  • vagina
  • pelvis
  • rectum (back passage)

If you are worried about the appearance of your veins, see your GP.

Page last reviewed: 02/09/2014

Next review due: 02/09/2016


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The 1 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

User375783 said on 18 January 2013

Are varicose veins always visable. I seem to have the described symptoms but do not have any protruding veins that i can see. Although, I am overweight and have quiet large calfs.

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