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5 Signs You’re Dealing with Venous Disease

Jun 24, 2024
5 Signs You’re Dealing with Venous Disease
Venous disease encompasses a range of conditions affecting the veins, primarily in the lower extremities. These conditions can lead to discomfort and health complications if left untreated. 

When it comes to maintaining health, it’s crucial to pay attention to subtle signs that point to potential issues. This is especially helpful when it comes to vascular health. Venous disease affects the blood vessels in the legs and often causes subtle symptoms in the early stages. 

At Third Coast Vascular, our specialists diagnose and treat a range of vein problems, and recognizing early symptoms is key. Many factors increase the risk of venous disease, including being overweight, leading an inactive lifestyle, and high blood pressure. The following are five common signs of venous disease.

1- Persistent leg pain and cramping

Persistent leg cramping, especially after prolonged periods of standing or sitting, are common symptoms of venous disease. This discomfort often results from increased pressure in the veins due to inadequate blood flow back to the heart. 

When the veins are unable to efficiently return blood, it pools in the lower extremities, leading to pain and cramping. This symptom is often relieved by elevating the legs, which helps to reduce venous pressure.

2- Swelling in the legs and ankles

Swelling, also known as edema, is another hallmark sign of venous disease. When the veins struggle to transport blood effectively, fluid can accumulate in the tissues, causing noticeable swelling in the legs and ankles. 

This swelling may worsen throughout the day and improve with rest and leg elevation. Chronic venous insufficiency, a common form of venous disease, is frequently linked with this type of swelling.

3- Varicose veins

Varicose veins are visibly enlarged, twisted veins that often appear on the surface of the skin, particularly on the legs. They result from weakened or damaged valves within the veins, leading to blood pooling and increased pressure. 

Varicose veins are more than a cosmetic concern as they may also cause pain, itching, and a heavy sensation in the legs. The presence of varicose veins often indicates underlying venous insufficiency.

4- Skin changes and discoloration

Venous disease can cause noticeable changes in the skin, particularly around the ankles and lower legs. Chronic venous insufficiency can lead to a condition known as stasis dermatitis, characterized by redness, itching, and scaling of the skin. 

Over time, the skin may become thickened and discolored, turning a brownish or reddish hue due to the accumulation of hemosiderin, a pigment derived from hemoglobin. These changes can also increase the risk of developing venous ulcers, which are non-healing wounds that require specialized care.

5- Non-healing wounds or ulcers

Non-healing wounds or ulcers, particularly on the lower legs and around the ankles, are a serious sign of venous disease. Venous ulcers develop due to prolonged venous hypertension, which damages the skin and underlying tissues. 

These ulcers are often painful and can significantly impact the quality of life. Prompt treatment is essential to prevent serious complications, including infection. 

The team at Third Coast Vascular offers innovative therapies and minimally invasive procedures to manage venous disease and prevent complications. Wound care specialist Dr. Lori Brooks provides personalized care for non-healing wounds or ulcers while vascular specialist Dr. Awais Siddique can determine the underlying cause.

If any of these signs are present, contact our clinic to request a consultation for a comprehensive evaluation and tailored treatment plan. Our offices are located in Sheboygan and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.