Let’s face it: itching is a part of life. All of us have an itch that needs a good scratch to go away at one point or another.
Itching often has no underlying cause and may be caused by dry skin, a bug bite, a minor allergic reaction, a scab or even too much sun exposure.
If you’re living with varicose veins, leg itching may be more serious, especially if it happens often or is accompanied by skin color changes, ulcers or scaling.
Although not everyone with varicose veins experiences itchy legs, understanding why you may be experiencing an itch is important to managing and treating your vein condition effectively.
Let’s explore the tie between varicose veins and itching in further detail.
What Are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are enlarged, twisted veins that appear on the legs and thighs.
They occur when healthy veins become overfilled with blood due to poor circulation.
It is important to note that any vein close to the skin’s surface can become varicosed.
Many people living with varicose veins do not experience symptoms except for the rope-like bulging appearance on the skin’s surface that can appear in a blueish-purple hue.
Others with more severe varicose veins may experience symptoms that include
- Aching, heavy and uncomfortable legs
- Swollen feet and ankles
- Muscle cramps in the lower legs
- Dry skin
- Color changes in your legs
Varicose veins are most common in women 50 and older but can affect anyone at any age.
Although the root cause is a restriction or irregularity in blood flow due to weak or damaged vein valves, they may appear due to:
- Standing or sitting for long periods
- A family history of varicose veins or vein diseases
- Poor circulation
Why Do Varicose Veins Cause Itching?
There are various reasons your legs may be itchy due to varicose veins. In fact, one of the most common symptoms of spider or varicose veins is itching, especially on the lower legs.
In other cases, varicose veins itch because of a condition called venous stasis dermatitis.
When blood builds up in damaged vessels, it can sometimes become so backed up that it leaks out into the skin. The leaky blood vessels cause inflammation that may lead to a lack of oxygen for your skin.
Due to this, the skin in the affected areas becomes red and itchy. In more serious cases, red or purple sores can form that ooze fluid scabs, known as venous ulcers.
If left untreated, venous stasis dermatitis can cause the skin over your lower legs, ankles and feet to turn red, dry and scaly. At this stage, your legs will constantly feel itchy with little to no relief until proper diagnosis and treatment are provided.
Depending on the severity of your varicose veins and the hindrance of your itchy legs in your daily life, there are various ways to treat venous stasis dermatitis and varicose veins effectively.
Some viable treatment options include
- Medicated creams
- Leg dressings for open wounds such as venous ulcers
- Compression stockings
- Noninvasive surgery such as sclerotherapy or endovenous ablation
It is best to seek a professional diagnosis and treatment plan from a team of vein specialists who can help guide you through the best options for your specific vein care needs.
Comprehensive Varicose Vein Treatment You Can Trust
Virginia Vein Care offers minimally invasive nonsurgical treatment options to help with venous-related conditions, including varicose veins.
If you or a loved one is looking for relief from varicose veins, our team of vein experts is here to help.
Please visit a Virginia Vein Care location near you to learn more about vein treatment and schedule a personalized consultation.