Varicose Veins | Symptoms + When to See a Doctor

For many people, varicose veins and spider veins are simply a cosmetic concern. For other people, varicose veins can cause aching pain and discomfort. Sometimes varicose veins lead to more serious problems.

What are the Symptoms of Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins may not cause any pain. Signs you may have varicose veins include these visual symptoms:

  • Veins that are dark purple or blue in color
  • Veins that appear twisted, swollen, and lumpy (bulging); often like cords on your legs
  • Spider veins concentrated around the ankles
  • Dermatitis isolated in the lower part of the leg

More painful signs and symptoms may occur. These include:

  • Aching or heavy legs, especially after exercise or at the end of the day
  • Burning or throbbing sensation
  • Swollen feet and ankles
  • Skin discoloration
  • Some individuals experience leg cramps
  • A high percentage of people with varicose veins also have restless legs syndrome

When Should I See a Doctor?

We recommend discussing varicose veins with your doctor as soon as they begin to develop. If they are not causing discomfort, and you are not overly bothered by their appearance, you may choose to leave them alone and monitor them over time. 

However if your varicose veins are accompanied by the following symptoms, you need to see a vein specialist for treatment:

  • Varicose veins that appear suddenly or suddenly increase in appearance
  • Swelling of the veins, the skin around the veins, or lower leg
  • General heavy and achy feelings in your legs, even when you have not been standing for long periods of time
  • Bleeding from a varicose vein
  • Red discoloration of the skin around a vein
  • Veins that harden or show a significant change in color
  • Open sores or ulcers on your legs that appear for no reason, especially around the ankles
  • Veins that become tender or feel warm to the touch
  • Skin around the veins that becomes inflamed, dry, or scaly

These signs can be an indication of serious complications, such as blood clots, ulcers, or vascular disease. If you suspect a blood clot, it is important to get to an emergency room as quickly as possible. Sudden swelling in the leg is the most common symptom for blood clots.

You should also see a vascular specialist if the appearance of the varicose veins causes you to feel self-conscious, embarrassed, or feel the need to hide them. Eliminating your unsightly varicose veins involves a simple treatment that can give you back your self-confidence.


Elmore Medical Vein & Laser Treatment Center is the premier vein specialty medical practice in the Central Valley. Dr. Mario H. Gonzalez and his staff offer years of experience and medical expertise that you won’t find anywhere else. Contact us today to set up a consultation appointment.

Jennifer Guidry