What does varicose veins look like?

the first signs of varicose veins

Small protruding veins are not intimidating yet, but should make you think!

The initial stages of the disease are characterized by mild symptoms. However, a woman attentive to her health should not lose sight of the first signs of developing varicose veins:

  • heaviness in the legs by the end of the day;
  • swelling of the feet;
  • the appearance of pigmentation on the skin of the lower legs and thinning of the skin;
  • numbness of the limbs, frequent leg muscle cramps;
  • protrusion of veins above the skin surface;
  • the appearance of a pattern of veins, spider veins on the legs.

If, returning home after a working day, a woman finds her legs in a “deplorable state”, then one should not blame only uncomfortable shoes or an extra “piece of salty” at dinner. Swelling and heaviness in the legs is the first signal of the development of blood stagnation in the vessels. Remember - vein diseases are difficult to treat. Early prevention and timely medical attention can stop or significantly slow down the process of stretching the veins. Treatment should be started as early as possible.

Varicose veins grade 1

The main causes of varicose veins are considered to be pregnancy, excess weight gain, prolonged physical activity, a sedentary lifestyle, as well as a genetic predisposition to such a disease. The common people called varicose veins "the disease of flight attendants" because of the peculiarities of this profession and long standing on their feet. This degree of the disease is the mildest.

varicose veins first stage

Classify the ailment according to different factors. One of the classifications is according to the stages of development of the disease:

  • Varicose veins of the 1st degree or stage of compensation.
  • Varicose veins of the 2nd degree or stage of subcompensation.
  • Grade 3 varicose veins or deconpensation stage.

Different stages of varicose veins of the lower extremities have radically different treatment. You should not try to cope with the illness yourself. This can only harm and lead to disastrous consequences. It is better to seek help from a competent specialist.

The first degree of varicose veins is characterized by edema at night, nocturnal convulsive spasms. Often, people mistake all these symptoms for ordinary fatigue. However, already at this stage it is necessary to take preventive measures, which include warm-up of the feet to improve overall blood flow, light foot massage, regular swimming, cycling.

Varicose veins of the first stage can also manifest as cramps in the calf area, patients often complain of a feeling of stretching of the legs or burning in the muscles. This is more and more often accompanied by pain in the lower extremities.

Already at this stage, manifestations of the visual nature of varicose veins may be noticeable, which should immediately alert:

  1. Slight cyanosis of the skin.
  2. The first spider veins appear on various parts of the body, more often on the legs.
  3. Visible tortuosity of veins.

First degree varicose veins are most often manifested by such external changes.

how does varicose veins of the first stage manifest

Another important factor in the manifestation of the first stage of varicose veins is the external conditions in which a person is. For example, in a hot environment, symptoms increase, swelling, pain, and cramps increase.

Treatment of first degree varicose veins

Sometimes doctors recommend to additionally use venotonics, which are quite effective in treating first stage varicose veins. Separately, it should be said about massage: not every type of therapy is suitable for this ailment. If after the procedures the pain only intensifies, then it is necessary to change the approach to choosing a massage complex.

It is worth more often arranging relaxing cool baths for the feet, which will soothe the muscles, relieve swelling, help reduce pain, and remove fatigue. But hot baths should be excluded, as they do not improve the condition of the limbs with varicose veins.

Doctors may recommend the following treatments for this grade of varicose veins:

  1. Sclerotherapy - a special medicine is injected directly into a vein with a needle. The action of the drug is aimed at resorption of veins, strengthening weak vascular walls, blocking blood flow in the desired area.
  2. Ozone therapy - an action aimed at strengthening blood vessels, resorption of varicose asterisks.

Each of the above options is quite effective. However, the maximum effect can be achieved only if all the recommendations that must be followed after the procedures are used.

Wearing special compression garments is paramount. Such an element helps create pressure in the veins, thereby preventing them from expanding further.

Causes of the disease

There are more than fifty reasons that can trigger a change in the venous system. Especially susceptible to the disease are people whose profession is associated with stress on their legs and a sedentary activity: salesmen, hairdressers, programmers, accountants, drivers.

Scientists have conducted many years of research and identified the main factors that cause varicose changes:

  • Hormonal changes in the body: pregnancy, menopause, adolescence;
  • Obesity of any degree;
  • Genetic predisposition. 70% of children whose parents suffered from venous insufficiency develop varicose veins;
  • Weak muscular system;
  • Wearing uncomfortable underwear: socks with tight elastic bands, tight pants for men;
  • Lack of activity and physical activity;
  • The habit of sitting with one leg over the other;
  • Rare change of body position: long standing, lying, sitting;
  • Chronic diseases: diabetes mellitus, high blood viscosity.

Of the ten patients with varicose veins, eight are female patients. The weaker sex is subject to venous pathologies due to forced hormonal disruptions during pregnancy, after childbirth, during menopause. The second important factor why women suffer from leg pain more often than men is the love of high heels.

Rules and guidelines

At the initial stage of varicose veins, the patient is advised to follow the rules:

  1. Walk once or twice a day. You should walk in a calm pace, periodically stopping for rest.
  2. Wear comfortable shoes with a heel no higher than 3 cm. The upper part of the shoe should not have a pulling device, the laces are not tied as tightly as possible.
  3. Attend gym workouts twice a week. The loads are selected individually by a doctor and trainer.
  4. Revise your diet. Food excludes foods with a high sugar content, fatty meats, flour products and starchy vegetables. Most of the diet of a patient with varicose veins is made up of steamed or boiled vegetables. Fried and spicy foods are not recommended.

  5. Legs need to rest in the evening. The outflow of blood will increase if you raise your legs and throw them on a high pillow or back of a sofa.
  6. If the work involves a small amount of movement, it is recommended to lubricate the feet with refreshing gels or ointments containing heparin.
  7. Special compression garments or elastic bandage are used every day. Special underwear is selected by a doctor. The peculiarity of compression garments is in the squeezing function. The pressure on the body occurs with varying force, which forces the blood to circulate forcibly.
  8. Change position often. If you have to constantly sit at work, then get up and sit down several times every 30 minutes. Exercise will help prevent varicose veins and hemorrhoids.

Treatment of different stages

A therapy that is effective in the initial stages can have the opposite effect in advanced pathology. The choice of treatment methods should be adequate to the stages of varicose veins:

Compression jersey

It is used at all stages of varicose veins, however, the degree of compression should differ significantly at different stages of disease progression. At the initial stage of varicose veins, compression is used for prophylactic purposes during standing and sedentary work.

Compression can halt the development of varicose veins, but before medical use it is necessary to consult a phlebologist, since compression is dangerous by aggravating the problem of venous outflow. At the stages of compensation and subcompensation with edema and noticeable varicose veins, underwear of the first and second compression classes is usually prescribed.

The third class of compression is used in cases of severe venous insufficiency. If lymphatic edema occurs, use fourth grade underwear. Hospital jersey is worn for inpatient treatment.

Folk remedies

Traditional medicine helps to treat varicose veins in the early stages. The following tools are widely practiced:

  • applying cabbage leaves
  • compresses of potatoes, wormwood and garlic;
  • chestnut tincture,
  • decoctions of hops and nettles.

However, the ease of use, accessibility, softness of the action of folk remedies are combined with their low efficiency (in comparison with medicines), therefore, enthusiasm for these methods is fraught with the progression of the disease. Herbal medicine and compresses should be used after medical advice and serve only as an auxiliary means of the main treatment.


Treatment with leeches is indicated in rare cases of advanced stages of varicose veins. Sometimes leeches are prescribed for thrombophlebitis.

Leeches can provoke allergies and trophic ulcers that aggravate varicose veins. Currently, the method is being supplanted by non-traumatic medications that contain anticoagulant components.


Medication can help relieve symptoms. Tablets, capsules based on grape extract, chestnut, which are biologically active additives, are effective at the initial stage of varicose veins.

Aids are prescribed at the compensation stage. Most ointments and gels contain heparin, which prevents blood clotting. To a large extent, the effect of ointments and gels is caused by the massage during application.

But at the stage of decompensation, the application of such products can cause additional skin manifestations. Relief of symptoms with medication is often temporary and does not heal the underlying cause.


surgery for varicose veins

Laser coagulation and sclerotherapy are minimally invasive techniques for excluding veins from the bloodstream. They are used for small diameters of dilated veins at the initial stages of varicose veins (when getting rid of spider veins, nets).

Endovasal laser coagulation of varicose veins


Surgical removal of veins is indicated in the third stage of the disease, accompanied by trophic ulcers and complications. In some cases, varicose veins in the legs do not develop in accordance with the model presented in the stepwise classification. For example, the symptoms of the first stage may be completely absent: a picture of subcompensation immediately appears.

Or, as the disease progresses, some signs of varicose veins are not added to the symptoms of the previous stage, but disappear. Therefore, at the beginning of the 21st century, Russian phlebologists, in addition to the stepwise approach, adopted the international classification (CEAP), in which, when diagnosing the severity of the disease, the facts of the individual characteristics of the course of varicose veins and the effects of treatment are taken into account.


Symptoms of pathology with beginning varicose veins do not cause people to think about venous disease:

  • feeling of heaviness in the legs;
  • fatigue after walking.

They tend to be associated with flat feet, unusual high heels, uncomfortable new shoes, lumbar osteochondrosis.

And only the visual detection of cyanotic dilated veins under the skin raises a suspicion of the development of varicose veins.

clear signs of varicose veins

Vascular mesh as the first sign of varicose veins appears most often under the knees

Women go to the doctor when they notice unpleasant cosmetic defects in the form of reddish venous "spiders" on the legs, under the knees, on the skin of the thighs.

The “influx” of young women seeking treatment to a phlebologist specializing in venous diseases is usually associated with the upcoming summer beach season, looking after their appearance rather than health. With the help of pills, they want to restore the beauty of the skin of the legs.

Pregnant women are more attentive to their condition. In addition to cosmetic changes, they note difficulties in walking, increased fatigue in the evening.

The initial stage of the disease is indicated by the disappearance of clinical symptoms after lying down.

You can verify yourself by conducting the following experiment: measure the volume of the lower leg at the level of the ankles or calf muscles in the morning and evening after work. If the difference is more than 1 cm, there are signs of initial varicose veins.

Subsequently appear:

  • pain in the legs;
  • swelling of the feet;
  • feeling of fullness and heaviness in the legs;
  • muscle cramps at night;
  • dilated veins become like dense "snake" cords with darkened areas of the skin.

These signs are undoubted manifestations of venous insufficiency and require treatment.

The main causes of varicose veins in women

Fatigue and edema may be the first manifestations of venous blood flow disorder

causes of varicose veins in women

The sex hormone estrogen plays a special role in the development of varicose veins in women. Its action leads to such troubles as weight gain, depression, swelling, drowsiness, dry mucous membranes. This hormone increases the permeability of small vessels. The fluid easily leaves the bloodstream, the blood becomes less flowing. Excess fluid accumulates in the surrounding tissues. These factors contribute to the development of stagnation in the vessels of the lower extremities.

Reasons for increasing estrogen in women:

  • An imbalance in estrogen-progesterone production. It occurs as a result of a decrease in the level of progesterone in a woman's body;
  • Chronic stress. During stress, the body produces cortisol, which in turn inhibits the synthesis of progesterone;
  • Pregnancy. During pregnancy, the amount of estrogen in a woman's body increases;
  • Taking contraceptives. Varicose veins occur as a side effect of taking these medicines;
  • Liver disease, as estrogen is removed from the body by the liver. With its poor function, this hormone accumulates in the body;
  • Age-related changes in hormonal levels also lead to an imbalance of sex hormones with a predominance of estrogen.

Separately, the reasons for the development of varicose veins should be noted overweight and a genetic predisposition to this disease. If overweight can and should be fought for the sake of health in general, then genetic predisposition cannot be prevented. As a result of these factors, varicose veins have significantly "younger" and are now often found in girls 16-20 years old.

Full liver function is important to maintain normal hormonal levels. In addition to removing excess hormones, it participates in the synthesis of substances - precursors of progesterone and estrogen. To improve its work, physical activity, good nutrition, and minimization of the intake of toxic substances into the body are required.

Treatment of varicose veins with traditional medicine

Treatment of varicose veins in the legs with medications is the most effective way, which is suitable for almost all patients. A wide range of medicines allows you to choose a more suitable drug for long-term treatment.

Medicinal methods for treating varicose veins of the legs

Venotonics are among the most highly effective drugs for the treatment of this disease. Venotonics are drugs that increase the tone of the veins and better outflow of blood from the veins.

These tablets can prevent the characteristic varicose veins and nodules from forming.

Applying ointments

The best treatment for varicose veins of the legs is an integrated approach, which includes medicines in the form of tablets, as well as the use of gels and ointments for external treatment of problem areas.

Ointment for varicose veins on the legs also helps to improve blood flow and prevent the formation of blood clots.

These funds are recommended for use only after consulting a doctor, who will also determine the duration of treatment and the regimen.

Do not self-medicate - it can further harm the patient's already poor condition.

Consequences of varicose veins.

consequences of varicose veins

Varicose veins can lead to the development of trophic ulcers on the leg, to thrombosis in the varicose vein system, to thrombophlebitis, to pulmonary embolism (instant death) in the midst of seeming complete health.

Complicated stages of varicose veins require surgical intervention. Although varicose veins most often suffer from women, men are also affected by this disease, mainly for hereditary reasons.

A man under the age of 40 can appear on the operating table, and radical measures are used to cure him of varicose veins - diseased veins are removed.

Removing varicose veins is easy.

In the groin, the surgeon makes an incision, where the large saphenous vein affected by varicose veins flows into the femoral vein. The vein is exposed, tied and excised, and a second incision is made at the ankle. With the help of a special metal probe, which is inserted into the lumen of the vessel, the entire enlarged vein is removed.

In the future, with the correct operation technology, relapses are not observed. The blood supply to the leg is distributed to other vessels, and after 2 weeks everything is completely restored.

Risk factors predisposing to the development of varicose veins.

  • Genetics and pathology of connective tissue;
  • Female;
  • Taking hormonal drugs: progesterone, estrogen;
  • Pregnancy;
  • Age: more common after 50;
  • Overweight and physical inactivity;
  • Prolonged stay in an upright position (standing work: hairdressers, salespeople, teachers, etc. );
  • Obesity.

Symptoms and signs of varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency.

Symptoms of varicose veins External signs
Aching pains Telangiectasia
Heavy legs Reticular veins
Fatigue Varicose veins
Puffiness Thrombophlebitis
Itchy skin Hyperpigmentation
Leg discomfort Trauma knot bleeding
Cramps in the calf muscles Ulceration

Varicose veins treatment options.

The choice of treatment depends on the diameter and type of varicose veins

  • Varicose veins of the saphenous veins
  • Drug therapy
  • Elastic compression and bandaging of legs
  • Injection sclerotherapy
  • Foam sclerotherapy
  • Laser therapy
  • Miniflebectomy

Dear women, varicose veins can wrap you in long skirts and trousers forever. If the pills and ointments are not able to bring your legs back to normal, then the only sure way to remove the dilated veins remains. In what way and where, it is only after consultation with a specialist phlebologist. Veins can now be surgically treated without hospitalization, without anesthesia, without incisions, with high precision. You just need to take a step towards your health.

Detailed information on varicose veins, symptoms, disease prevention, special exercises, treatment methods and necessary nutrition can be found on the website: ovaricoze. ru

How varicose veins manifest in the early stages. Why is he dangerous

As a rule, reticular varicose veins are painless. Therefore, the most frequent complaints that patients turn to doctors are cosmetic defects - visible reticular veins.

In more rare cases, the appearance of such a varicose mesh is accompanied by a burning sensation or other changes in skin sensitivity.

In addition to these symptoms, the first stage of varicose veins manifests itself:

  • heaviness in the legs;
  • increased leg fatigue;
  • cramps in the muscles of the lower extremities, especially at night;
  • itching at the site of appearance of the vascular network;
  • swelling of the feet and legs.

In order to prevent the progression of the disease, it is necessary to start treatment on time

Therefore, it is important to consult a phlebologist, angiologist or vascular surgeon in a timely manner, who will tell you what to do with such skin formations. To begin with, a specialist will conduct an examination and prescribe the necessary additional examinations that will help identify the causes of the appearance of asterisks or meshes, as well as establish the degree of impaired venous circulation

To determine the degree of vascular lesions and their insufficiency do:

  • complete blood count (shows if the patient has anemia or thrombocytopenia);
  • biochemical blood test (detects blood clotting disorders or liver and kidney function);
  • general urinalysis (detects kidney problems);
  • vascular ultrasound - duplex angioscanning (reveals the pathology of the vascular wall and blood flow disorders);
  • X-ray phlebography with contrast (determines the localization of venous lesions and the degree of impairment of their functions).

If you do nothing after detecting the first signs of reticular varicose veins, it is possible:

  • accession of inflammation and the development of thrombophlebitis of the superficial veins of the lower extremities;
  • transition of the pathological process from superficial veins of the lower extremities to deep ones;
  • thrombosis of venous vessels. If the thrombosis occurs in the venous vessels of the head, it is dangerous for strokes and sinus thrombosis;
  • thromboembolism of the pulmonary arteries is a deadly complication that occurs due to the separation of a blood clot from the vessel wall and blockage of the lumen of the pulmonary arteries.

If you ignore the appearance of incipient reticular varicose veins and do not start treatment in time, the disease will progress. Then the development of complications will become inevitable.


Don't forget about preventive measures. For prevention, you need to devote time to sports.

Avoid excessive physical exertion. Wear comfortable shoes with low (up to 4 cm) heels. Remember that hot baths, baths, and saunas have an adverse effect on the health of the legs.

And following these simple guidelines will help prevent the development of this disease:

  1. try to get rid of bad habits - alcohol consumption and smoking negatively affects the state of your blood vessels;
  2. compression therapy - wear medical stockings, tights and knee-highs;
  3. diet, weight control (overweight people are more likely to suffer from varicose veins), exclude fatty meats and poultry, give up spicy and salty foods, be sure to include vegetables and fruits in the diet;
  4. massage - get into the habit of doing a light foot massage after a hard day at work, this will help you relax and improve the body's natural blood circulation.

Any disease is always easier to prevent than to cure. Be healthy!