Are your varicose veins itchy?

Itchy varicose veins are sometimes caused by a condition known as venous stasis dermatitis.


If you have varicose veins, you will know that the condition can cause thick, dark veins near the surface of your skin. These veins may not be causing you any uncomfortable symptoms, but it is possible to experience some pain, itching and a sense of heaviness in your legs. If your varicose veins feel itchy, there are a few things you can do to manage the veins and prevent them from worsening over time. Alternatively, you might choose to undergo a procedure to get rid of the veins completely. Read on to find out what actually causes itchy varicose veins, and what you can do about the issue if it is bothering you…

What causes itchy varicose veins?

In many cases, varicose veins feel itchy as the result of a condition known as venous stasis dermatitis. The condition occurs when blood builds up in damaged vessels, eventually leaking into the skin and causing inflammation in the area. As a result, the skin over the varicose veins often becomes red and itchy, and sores can even begin to form. If left untreated, venous stasis dermatitis can worsen, causing the affected skin to become red, scaly and very itchy.

What can you do about itchy varicose veins?  

Fortunately, there are a few options when it comes to treating itchy varicose veins. If the issue is bothering you, it is advisable that you consult with a healthcare practitioner who might prescribe a medicated cream formulated to reduce inflammation in your legs. Other possible treatments for itchy skin include antihistamines and antibiotics. Your doctor might recommend that you dress any open wounds and that you use compression stockings to minimise swelling and improve blood circulation.

If these approaches don’t provide you with relief, it might be worth getting rid of the varicose veins themselves. There are a few treatment options available — these include sclerotherapy, laser treatment and surgery.

If you decide to go ahead with sclerotherapy, your doctor will inject medication into your veins, which works by irritating and eventually destroying the veins. In the case of endovenous laser therapy, a laser will be used to shut down and shrink the veins.

If you have particularly prominent varicose veins, you may be a suitable candidate for surgical treatment. During the procedure, your surgeon will carefully interrupt the reversed flow caused by faulty valves and detach the long saphenous vein from the femoral vein. The saphenous vein is then removed or stripped to reduce the chance of the veins recurring. The varicose veins are removed by means of a series of tiny incisions.

How can we help?

If you are concerned about the presence of varicose veins, we encourage you to come in and see us for a consultation. Varicose veins are a common condition, but the good news is that they can be resolved.

At North Western Vascular, we offer a range of treatments for varicose veins. These include injection sclerotherapy, which is often suitable for relatively minor varicose veins; and endovenous laser treatment (EVLT), which may be recommended in the case of more prominent varicose veins. We also perform surgical treatment for varicose veins, in which case Mr Bell and his team will guide you through the process and the recovery period to ensure that you feel comfortable throughout your treatment.  

If you would like to find out more about varicose veins and the available treatment options, please have a look here.

We also offer treatments for spider veins, as well as the full range of venous and arterial disorders. To find out more about our team and how we can assist you, please have a look here. If you would like to book an appointment, please get in touch here, or alternatively call us on 03 9372 9999.

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