Varicose veins, characterized by unusually large and twisted veins that appear in shades of dark purple or blue are more than just a cosmetic concern. They are a medical condition that demands timely attention and treatment. Mostly found in the legs, varicose veins often develop due to increased pressure on the lower leg, especially in cases when one is overweight or pregnant.
In the initial stages, symptoms of varicose veins may not be noticeable. However, it is crucial to seek medical advice as soon as you notice the symptoms because delaying treatment or leaving varicose veins untreated can lead to more severe health complications. The severity of varicose vein symptoms can escalate as the condition progresses. Read on to know about the various stages of varicose veins…
Stage 1 of Varicose Veins
In the first stage of varicose veins, leg veins may become visibly swollen and dark in colour. Some people may experience mild pain at this stage, while others may encounter severe discomfort. Additional symptoms of stage one varicose veins include a burning sensation, leg itchiness and heaviness, darkening of veins, hardening of veins and inflammation around the varicose veins. Neglecting these initial symptoms may worsen the condition and lead to the second stage.
Stage 2 of Varicose Veins
During the second stage, swelling and inflammation in the legs and ankles intensify due to blood flow obstruction in the veins, resulting in blood pooling in the legs. This contributes to leg heaviness and pain. Symptoms of stage two varicose veins include ankle stiffness, leg itchiness, muscular spasms, pain and discomfort while walking and leg numbness. Risk factors that can worsen leg and ankle swelling in the second stage include hypertension, physical inactivity, smoking, poor dietary habits and heart disorders affecting blood circulation.
Stage 3 of Varicose Veins
A common symptom in the third stage includes skin discoloration around the varicose veins, with the affected skin appearing dark brown and taking on a leather-like texture. This skin discoloration results from inflammation of the fatty tissues beneath the skin. Itchy and irritated skin can lead to skin cracking and bleeding, a condition known as lipodermatosclerosis. At this stage, varicose veins are severe and require immediate medical attention. Other symptoms include increased leg and ankle pain, thick and hardened skin around the varicose veins, leg ulcers and skin with a leather-like texture.
Stage 4 of Varicose Veins
Stage four marks the most severe phase of varicose veins, with the development of ulcers and open sores. These ulcers form due to chronic blood circulation insufficiency in leg veins and the excessive pressure exerted by varicose veins. The ulcers do not heal and continuously reappear as open sores, resulting in severe skin tissue damage. Symptoms in this stage include painful open sores on the legs and ankles, discolored skin, extreme swelling and burning sensations, heavy and stiff legs as well as a yellowish discharge from the open sores. Ignoring the symptoms of stage four varicose veins can lead to life-threatening consequences. These symptoms can worsen with smoking or alcohol consumption so it’s wise to quit these habits to prevent a potentially fatal outcome.
It is crucial to address varicose veins promptly to prevent the condition from progressing further. Ignoring it or leaving it untreated will only lead to more severe symptoms and increased discomfort. If you notice stage 1 symptoms of varicose veins, what you must do is prioritize your health and consult a doctor immediately. There are various treatment options available with laser treatment being the most advanced and effective method. To consult a varicose veins expert and get timely treatment, click below