Many of the patients that I treat with varicose veins only have maybe one symptom. In my previous blogs and even in my other videos, I’ve mentioned these symptoms. They include heaviness at the end of the day, aching in the legs, sometimes even pain. They may be associated with some swelling in the legs.
Now one of the symptoms that often gets overlooked is itchiness in the legs. Now, the story that I often hear from these patients is that they may have noticed varicose veins for many, many years, but it hasn’t really bothered them. But progressively over the last few years they’ve noticed that they have a lot of itchiness, especially around the ankle. Some of these patients may even use a bit of steroid creams to try to help, but they find that it helps for a while, but eventually, once they stop using the creams, the the itchiness just progresses.
Now the cause of this itchiness is a condition known as varicose eczema. Now eczema is a condition whereby you get a red, itchy rash. With varicose eczema, you get the red, itchy rash because of the varicose veins in that area. Some of the other symptoms or signs that you may see is that you might find that the skin might get a little bit dry. There might be a little bit of swelling, and the skin around it might actually get a little bit darker. Now when left untreated, this can worsen the skin condition, causing it to eventually break out into a wound, also known as an ulcer.
Now the cause of this varicose eczema is because of varicose veins having a lot of pressure in them. This causes a bit of fluid to leak out into the skin and then your immunity reacts to the skin, causing it to be itchy.
Now what can you do to treat this varicose eczema or itchiness? A conservative approach would be using moisturizing creams to lubricate or almost hydrate the skin. Now if it’s really bad and it’s very itchy, you can sometimes even use steroid creams to help to reduce that itchiness, but oftentimes, as I mentioned earlier, when you stop these creams, the itchiness tends to come back.
Now because it’s due to varicose veins, you can also wear compression stockings to try to alleviate or reduce the symptoms of these varicose veins, and even not standing for long periods or continuously walking can improve the varicose veins. Eventually, if you want to eradicate or completely get rid of the itchiness, the only way you can do this is to treat these varicose veins, because once these varicose veins get treated, the pressure then reduces and this causes less leaking into the skin, therefore causing less itchiness.
The skin itself with the color changes sometimes can get better, but it just depends on how severe it is. But oftentimes you will find that there’ll be a dramatic difference in terms of the skin condition, including the dryness kind of disappearing and the skin getting a lot more hydration.
Now here at Doctor Vein we are very happy to help in any way possible. If you need further information, visit our website at doctorvein.com.au or book yourself in for consultation.