7 Crucial Stages of Varicose Veins You Should Be Able to Identify

Did you know that in the United States alone, 30 million people suffer from chronic vein disease? And what’s more, is that despite the large number of people suffering, only 1.9 million get proper treatment. Plus, out of all these diseases, varicose veins are the leading issue.

Varicose veins refer to a condition that causes your leg veins to enlarge and twist around each other. Several varicose veins stages help to signal whether the situation is mild or severe, making it crucial to identify the signs beforehand. That is why in this blog, we’ve listed down all the seven stages of varicose veins for your ease and benefit.

What are Varicose Veins?

Most commonly affecting the legs, varicose veins are the veins that appear near your skin’s surface, swollen in size. Sometimes, they can expand so much that they end up intermingling with the other veins, twisting around together. The reason they occur, though, is because of weakened vein walls.

When you put too much pressure on your legs, be it due to sitting around or walking, it can cause the veins to lose their elasticity. This results in the valves losing grip over their walls and weakening all over.

What are the Different Varicose Veins Stages?

Varicose veins have multiple stages that help indicate the seriousness of the situation. Thus, it is essential to recognize these stages during their initial phase to prevent future complications. On a scale from most obvious to barely noticeable, here are the seven main stages of varicose veins:

Stage 1: Constant Cramps & Leg Pain
It all begins with mild pain, cramps, throbbing, itching, and an odd feeling of heaviness in your legs.

Stage 2: Spider Veins
Shaped like a spider’s web, spider veins are a cluster of thin yet damaged blood vessels that appear on the surface of your skin. They’re usually reddish purple in color and can sometimes be painless.

Stage 3: Discoloration & Swelling of the Veins
By stage three, your skin will start to protrude with swollen veins underneath. There might also be slight discoloration, with the veins looking dark blue or purple in color.

Stage 4: Swollen Legs & Ankles
Around this time, you may notice swelling all over your legs and ankles. This happens because valves leak blood, causing them to pool under the skin.

Stage 5: Burning Sensation
When a burning sensation erupts, along with itching and swelling, that means the condition is only getting worse.

Stage 6: Skin Hardening & Losing Color
The sixth stage includes changes leading up to your skin, such as severe discoloration and hardening. This can seem like crusts or scabs forming on top of the wounded veins.

Stage 7: Ulcers
Once ulcers start forming, it can be dangerous since it can cause blood clots to occur as well. This venous hypertension can, at times, be fatal. In such cases, seeking medical help immediately is the only way to go.

When is The Best Time to Identify Varicose Veins?

It’s best to identify varicose veins in the initial phases, especially when you just begin to notice the swelling. So stages one and two are the most suitable for taking action.

The reason it’s so important is because varicose veins can lead to a lot of pain. Functioning in daily life can become extremely hard, especially when dealing with constant spasms and burning sensations. Not to mention, varicose veins are nothing short of a challenge. Sometimes you might not even feel the pain, but on the inside, your veins could expand so much that it might potentially cause an ulcer or a blood clot.

When to Seek Help

If you’ve noticed your varicose veins stages accelerating, it’s time to hit up a professional. Contact NorthWest Cardiovascular Clinic at (281) 807-5253 for an in-depth evaluation and treatment.

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