Varicose veins are enlarged veins near the surface of the skin that have become twisted or enlarged. When working properly, one-way valves in your veins maintain blood flow from your legs up towards your heart. When a malfunction occurs in these valves, blood can collect building up pressure allowing the veins to become weak, large and twisted.  Most commonly found in legs and ankles, varicose veins are generally not considered serious but can lead to problems if not treated. Here are some signs and symptoms to look for if you think you have varicose veins:

  • Veins that look dark blue or purple in color and appear twisted, swollen or bulging
  • Itching over the vein
  • Aching, burning, tiredness or pain in your legs
  • Cramping or swelling in lower legs, feet or ankles
  • Symptoms that worsen after long periods of standing or sitting

If you have one or more of the symptoms above you should talk with your primary care physician during your next annual physical. If your symptoms are making it difficult to stand or walk, call (865) 588-8229 to request an appointment with one of our board-certified vein specialists to determine if further treatment is needed.  In the interim, here are a few things you can try at home to alleviate symptoms and keep the varicose veins from getting worse.

  • Wear compression stockings
  • Elevate your feet and legs when seated
  • Try to avoid long periods of standing or sitting
  • Get plenty of exercise
  • Avoid uncomfortable footwear including tight fitting socks and hosiery