When you think of the symptoms of varicose veins and vein disease, what comes to mind? You might picture bulging veins that look like cords or ropes beneath the skin or purple, blue or red veins in a web-like pattern. But there are a number of other symptoms associated with vein disease, including leg swelling, throbbing, and pain when standing. Learn more about the symptoms of vein disease and what they can mean.

Leg Swelling and Other Symptoms of Vein Disease


When you body retains fluids, the legs often swell. Swelling of the legs can occur for a number of reasons, including being overweight, being inactive or wearing tight clothing. It is also often connected to a problem the circulation or flow of blood in the veins. Leg swelling can often be a symptom of varicose veins or venous insufficiency. In some cases, the legs can swell because of a clot located deep within the leg.  If you notice that your legs are swollen or see very dramatic, sudden swelling, contact your doctor right away, as it can a sign of a serious vein problem, as the Mayo Clinic notes.

Cramping or Throbbing

Cramps in the lower part of the leg or a throbbing sensation in the leg are also often symptoms of varicose veins or a vein problem. The cramping often becomes worse at night.

Aching or 'heavy' legs

When you have varicose veins or vein disease, your legs might feel as if they are made out of lead or very, very heavy. Even if you can’t see signs of swelling, your legs might feel full. Some people also notice a dull ache in their legs.

Pain That Changes Depending on the Position of Your Legs

Although not everyone with a vein problem has pain in their legs, some people do notice pain. Usually, the pain can change depending on the position you are in. It might grow worse when you have to sit still or stand up for long periods of time. Some conditions will improve the pain, such as elevating your legs. You might also notice that the pain becomes worse when you get up to stand.

Skin Issues

In more severe cases of vein disease, visible changes to the skin can occur. It’s common for the legs to feel itchy. In some instances, the skin might become irritated if you scratch the itch.  Other skin changes related to varicose veins or vein disease include a thickening of the skin, hardening of the skin, changes in the skin’s color, and dryness or scaliness. In severe cases, an ulcer can form on the skin. If that happens, it’s important to get medical care right away.

Think you have signs of varicose veins or vein disease? The vein doctors and vein care specialists at Metro Vein Centers in Michigan are here to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation at one of our practices in the Detroit metro area.