4 Alarming Complications of Varicose Veins You Shouldn’t Ignore

At first glance, varicose vein symptoms like bulging blue veins and minor swelling may seem like nothing more than a cosmetic nuisance. But beneath the veneer of light discomfort may lie deeper circulatory problems that, if ignored, flirt with dangers far beyond aesthetics. Here are some of the most common complications of varicose veins. 

1. Bleeding


leg illustration of a burst and bleeding ulcer

There are a few reasons why varicose veins unexpectedly pop up near the skin’s surface and cause bleeding. The main one is because they’re under a lot of pressure and aren’t as strong as they used to be. The faulty valves within these veins cause them to swell and enlarge, gradually thinning and weakening the skin above them. This makes the skin covering them ultra thin and delicate—even a tiny bump or scratch can cause a big problem. They may be so pumped up on pressure that they just burst on their own, causing bleeding. 


Although rarely life-threatening, this bloody situation highlights the need for immediate action. If your varicose veins start bleeding, here’s how to stop it in its tracks:

  • Elevate Your Leg: Lie down and lift your leg up high, using several pillows for support to ensure it’s comfortably elevated.
  • Apply Pressure: Use a clean cloth or towel, pressing it firmly against the bleeding area for a minimum of 10 minutes to help stem the flow.

If the bleeding is heavy or doesn’t stop, it’s crucial to get to a doctor right away. 

2. Blood Clots


leg illustration with a blot clot on the calf

When you suffer from varicose veins, the blood struggles to circulate back to your heart and tends to pool in the lower body, typically in the legs, leading to what’s called stagnant blood flow. When this happens, blood clots can form, manifesting either as phlebitis or deep vein thrombosis.


Think of phlebitis as a vein in distress. It gets swollen, red, and can feel hot and painful, as if it’s undergoing an intense reaction. This condition can make simple activities like walking or resting a challenge due to ongoing discomfort. To keep things from getting worse, it’s important to treat phlebitis right away by using cold compresses or medication.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a condition characterized by the formation of a blood clot in a deep vein, typically in the legs. DVT carries the risk of escalating into a pulmonary embolism—a dire emergency where the clot detaches and blocks a lung artery. This blockage doesn’t just mess with the blood flow to your lungs. It also drastically lowers oxygen levels in your blood, putting your lungs and other organs at risk. Want to steer clear of this perilous path? Then get ahead of it with early varicose veins treatment to really cut down the risk of getting DVT.


3. Leg Ulcers

leg illustration with an ulcer on the lower leg


Picture this: swelling, rashes, and a not-so-pretty brown tint on your legs. Leg ulcers are not just unsightly and itchy, they can completely throw a wrench in your daily life. Just imagine having to change your clothes multiple times a day, deal with constant leaking from your sores, and putting up with a persistently nasty smell coming from your ulcers. Not to mention the lingering threat of worsening varicose veins complications.

About 70 percent of leg ulcers are caused by venous insufficiency. Yet many who suffer from it wait years before they see a doctor about it. Prompt and effective treatment is essential, as it not only aids in healing your leg ulcers but also prevents their recurrence.


4. Lipodermatosclerosis 


leg illustration of leathery, darkening of the skin

Lipodermatosclerosis (LDS) is a severe skin and connective tissue disorder that translates to “scarring of the skin and fat.” It makes your skin look and feel leathery and marks a critical advancement in venous diseases, featuring a constellation of symptoms: pain, skin hardening, color changes, and swelling. 


LDS signals deep-rooted issues in the circulatory system. The term “scarring of the skin and fat” underscores the relentless progression of this disease, as inflammation gives way to fibrosis, or scarring, that wreaks havoc on both the skin and the underlying fat layer. 


The physical constraints of LDS, such as difficulty walking or running, drastically curtail mobility. This limitation goes beyond merely impacting physical health; it deeply affects mental well-being. The persistent pain and physical limitations can lead to social isolation, depression, and severely hinder one’s ability to engage in daily life and work, creating a ripple effect that diminishes overall quality of life.

Eliminate Irritating Symptoms Once and For All


The complications of varicose veins are daunting—but they don’t have to be a foregone conclusion. By seeking treatment for your varicose veins, you can not only prevent many of these secondary issues but also effectively manage them if they’ve already developed. If you’re experiencing symptoms like frequent bleeding, blood clots, leg ulcers, or lipodermatosclerosis, see a vein specialist as soon as you can. A straightforward ultrasound can confirm the presence of varicose veins, allowing you and your doctor to choose the best treatment path. Don’t delay—taking care of your varicose veins can supercharge your quality of life and pave the way for a longer, healthier, and smoother-sailing future!

Nos sentiríamos alagados en darle la bienvenida a nuestra familia de pacientes satisfechos, el Delaware Advanced Vein Center, donde nuestro personal médico tiene años de experiencia ayudando a personas que padecen de arañas vasculares y várices.

Favor contactar con nosotros el día hoy para programar una consulta virtual GRATUITA y evaluar sus venas.