Vein Disease Symptoms

Venous disease symptoms can be controlled, but disease can progress and worsen if not treated in the early stages.

Home Healthy Living Vein Disease 101 Vein Disease Symptoms

Each venous disorder has different symptoms, some more severe than others. Symptoms can be as minor as a little discomfort in your legs, or as serious as developing skin ulcers or pulmonary embolisms caused by a blood clot traveling to the lungs.

About 50% of women and 40% of men in the US suffer from some type of vein problem.

Source: "EPublications." Varicose Veins and Spider Veins Fact Sheet. Ed. Robert J. Min. Women's Health, US Department of Health and Human Services, 16 July 2012. Web. 18 June 2015.



Minor Symptoms

  • Itchy legs
  • Leg or ankle swelling
  • Changes in skin color, especially in lower leg

Moderate Symptoms

  • Aching or throbbing in legs
  • A heavy feeling in the legs
  • Leg cramps
  • Development of further skin changes in legs
  • Varicose veins
  • Swelling / tightness in the leg or calf muscle

Severe Symptoms

  • Pain
  • Skin pigment changes (red or bronze discoloration)
  • Dry scaly, itchy skin (ezcema changes)
  • Edema
  • Dilated veins
  • Fibrosis and hardening of the skin of the lower legs
  • Lower leg ulcerations

Symptoms of Pulmonary Embolism

Vein diseases can lead to deep vein thrombosis (DVT). In turn, this can lead to a pulmonary embolism (PE), which is caused when a blood clot develops and travels to the lungs. There are several symptoms of pulmonary embolism, and you should seek immediate evaluation if you experience any of these symptoms:

  • Sudden feeling of shortness of breath
  • Chest pain that gets worse when taking deep breaths
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Sudden fainting
  • Increased heart rate
  • Coughing up blood

A pulmonary embolism can be fatal; therefore getting medical attention as soon as possible increases survival rates. If you have a condition impacting your veins, managing the condition can reduce your risk for developing further complications like DVT and pulmonary embolism.