The skin in the area of a varicose vein can become itchy and irritated and may change colour. If this happens you may be developing Venous Dermatitis, which is a complication of chronic venous disease/severe varicose veins.

What are varicose veins?

Our veins are full of one-way valves that help to pump the blood forward around the body and away from our skin back toward the heart and lungs. When these one-way valves become faulty and blood is able to flow both ways, the vein then becomes abnormal. Valve failure means the blood is not as easily pumped out and a combination of ineffective valves and gravity causes a pooling of the blood, building pressure up in those veins and causing a bulge on the skin surface. It is a build up of pressure right under the skin within the vein that brings on Venous Dermatitis.

So, what’s the fix?

To relieve the symptoms, pressure stockings may help to support varicose veins and allow the blood to be pumped out, or elevating the legs above the heart and letting gravity help drain excess blood from around defective valves. Itchiness and irritation of the skin may be relieved by applying a soothing cream to the area.

However, each of these are temporary measure for the symptoms, and varicose veins do not right themselves without intervention. In order to fix the underlying cause permanently you will need to have your varicose veins treated by a phlebologist; left untreated venous dermatitis can become chronic and cause permanent skin thickening and discolouration.

What treatments are available for varicose veins?

Modern varicose vein treatment involves walk-in-walk-out procedures and is minimally invasive, which is good news for recovery and pain management. It’s worthwhile reading about Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy, Endovenous Laser Ablation and VenaSeal, some of the treatment options available at Vein Health.

Key Takeaways

  • Itchy skin around varicose veins is a symptom of chronic venous disease/severe varicose veins.
  • Pressure stockings, elevation, and soothing creams can relieve the symptoms of varicose veins, but the only way to resolve the cause is to have your varicose veins treated phlebologist.
  • Make an appointment with Dr Paraskevas to discuss what varicose treatment is right for you.