Venous disorders can affect your legs and other areas of the body. Depending on the condition, you may experience venous insufficiency symptoms such as pain, itching, burning, swelling or throbbing.
To diagnose the problem, your doctor may perform an assessment and an ultrasound scan to determine how well your circulatory system is functioning. You may be diagnosed with varicose veins or one of the following conditions:
What is it?: Spider veins are the mildest form of venous insufficiency. The tiny, string-like damaged veins, can appear on the surface of the skin. These are most typically found on the face or legs.
Appearance: Spider veins can be flat or slightly raised and form under the skin as wavy lines, webs or branches. They can range in colour – from purple to red.
Symptoms: Although spider veins can cause some discomfort, they are painless most of the time. Since they’re easily visible through the skin, some patients may wish to have them treated for cosmetic reasons.
Appearance: Mostly flat and bluish in colour, these vessels often form a complex venous network that can feed into smaller spider veins. For this reason medical professionals refer to them as “feeder veins.”
Symptoms: Similar to varicose veins, reticular veins can cause some pain and discomfort. This includes itching, burning and swelling. In some cases, the presence of reticular veins can be indicative of a more serious venous condition such as a blood clot.
Appearance: Bulging veins, protrude from the skins surface and can be bluish in colour or have no colour. They are often found in your hands, arms or face. It is possible that they could be confused with varicose veins, if you see twisted bulging veins or experience any symptoms, have them assessed by a medical practitioner.
Symptoms: There shouldn’t be any symptoms accompanying bulging veins. If you do experience any accompanying symptoms, please consult a medical practitioner.
Appearance: In the early stages of venous ulcers, scaling, redness and inflammation can occur in the affected area. The skin can also take on a yellow, brownish appearance. Over time, as the blood leaches into the subcutaneous tissue, skin can appear dark red or purple.
Symptoms: These can range from no discomfort at all to becoming painful if an infection develops. Venous ulcers are frequently accompanied by inflammation, swelling, itchiness, discharge, flaking, hard or discoloured skin.
Deep Vein Thrombosis
Appearance: Not visible to the human eye, doctors look for related DVT signs, such as swelling in your foot, ankle or leg, usually on one side, an area that feels warmer than the surrounding skin, or an affected area which has turned pale, reddish or bluish.
Symptoms: Deep vein thrombosis can have no symptoms, which is why it’s so dangerous. In many cases, however, the body gives signs such as pain, cramping or swelling in the affected leg.
Appearance: The affected area can appear swollen, warm to the touch and develop visible red streaking.
Symptoms: Some patients experience no symptoms.Doctors look out for DVT symptoms such as swelling, redness, warmth, tenderness and rope-like structures that can be detected through the skin. Some patients experience no symptoms.
Pelvic Congestion Syndrome
Appearance: No visible sign to the human eye. To diagnose, doctors will usually perform an ultrasound to check for varicose veins in the pelvis. However, another imaging test such as a venography may be needed to confirm the diagnosis.
Symptoms: Pain is the primary symptom of pelvic congestion syndrome. It can be chronic (long-term) – lasting six months or longer. Often starting during or after a pregnancy, the pain may be sharp or dull, occurring on one or both sides. The pain can intensify towards the end of the day.
Appearance: Vulva veins can appear dilated, bulging and bluish.
Symptoms: In most women, vulva veins don’t produce any symptoms. If they do occur, symptoms include: feeling fullness or pressure in the vulvar area, swelling, pain and discomfort. Prolonged standing and physical activity can make the condition worse.
Appearance: Excessive swelling of the limbs, making it difficult to fit into clothes and wear jewellery.
Symptoms: Swelling is often accompanied by a ‘heavy’ feeling, difficulty moving, chronic skin infections and fluid leakage, skin tightness and folds developing in the skin.