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Varicose veins cause more than just discomfort and aching legs: there are many potential symptoms, including itchy veins. It is not uncommon for those with varicose veins to experience itchy skin, but many do not know the cause behind this irritation. Learn more about why varicose veins may result in itchiness and how you can cope with it.

 

What are varicose veins?

Varicose veins are dark purple or blue veins–though you can’t always see them–found near the surface of the skin that are twisted in appearance and usually harmless. They are most commonly found on the inside of the legs and share similarities with spider veins but are larger, more unsightly, and much harder to remove. They are accompanied by several symptoms, including itchiness and discomfort. 

 

Causes of itchy varicose veins

The damaged valves of varicose veins have a difficult time guiding blood back up to the heart. The body attempts to resolve the issue by releasing hormones, including histamine, which is also released when you have an allergic reaction and causes itchiness.

Another cause may be a condition known as stasis dermatitis, which is skin inflammation that can occur for people with poor circulation. Blood builds up in damaged valves where it can leak out into the skin and prevent adequate amounts of oxygen from reaching your skin. The skin near the veins proceeds to become red, irritated, and can even turn scaly. This condition is also known as venous eczema.

 

Relief for irritation

Itchiness of any sort makes you want to give in to the temptation and scratch, but this will only worsen your problem. Scratching the affected area will traumatize the vein since it is already very close to the surface of the skin, and it will only make the itching worse. Not itching the skin is the best way for you to minimize the irritation, but here are some more tips that will help you manage the itchiness:

 

  • Exercise to keep your blood moving through your veins. This will also help you maintain a healthy weight so that there is no added pressure placed on your veins.
  • Wear compression stockings to help get blood back to the heart and reduce swelling.
  • Keep your feet elevated when you are resting to stop blood from pooling in your veins. 
  • Apply cream to prevent dryness. Make sure that it is thick and unscented so it is gentle on your skin while thoroughly moisturizing it. 

 

Treatment options

If nothing is soothing your itchy veins, you may want to visit a vein specialist to get a diagnosis for your condition and see what they will recommend that you do. Some options they might suggest depending on the severity of your condition are:

  • Sclerotherapy
  • Endovenous ablation therapy
  • Laser treatment
  • Vein stripping and ligation

 

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about vein treatment, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!