Symptoms/signs of vein disease
Symptoms are the subjective complaints that a patient mentions to his or her doctor.
Leg symptoms of vein disease include:
Pain or aching
One leg larger than the other
Rash on the lower legs
Pigmentation changes (discoloration)
These symptoms often get worse the longer a patient is standing or sitting and they may get better when the legs are elevated above the heart.
Probably the most interesting symptom of venous disease is restless leg syndrome (RLS). Many vein disease patients have RLS and it often goes away after treatment of their vein problems. Occasionally, the only symptom that some vein patients notice is RLS.
Signs are objective findings observed by the doctor.
Signs of vein disease include:
Telangiectasia--"spider veins" smaller than one millimeter in diameter. They may or may not indicate underlying vein disease.
Reticular veins--"spider veins" one millimeter or more in diameter. They may or may not indicate underlying vein disease.
Varicose veins--visible, dilated veins 3 millimeters or more in diameter. This is usually an indication of underlying saphenous vein reflux.
Hyperpigmentation--brownish discoloration anywhere from the calf to the ankle. It can start as small spots or it can cover large areas.
Edema--swelling of the ankles is a common sign of vein disease. In some vein disease patients one entire leg is larger than the other.
Corona phlebectasia--blue veins that appear on the ankles or feet. This is often the first sign that a patient is developing venous disease.
Lipodermatosclerosis--thickened/darkened skin in
the area between the calf and ankle. This is almost always a sign of very advanced vein disease.
Venous ulcer--this is one of the worst complications of venous disease. It is caused when the pressure in the veins is so high that even the skin cannot resist it.