C1: Spider Veins
Spider veins is one of the most common manifestations of CVD and is generally located in the thigh, legs, inner ankle and feet. Spider veins appear as a network of thin, red, blue or purple lines on the surface of the skin.
C2: Varicose Veins
Varicose veins are another common manifestation of CVD and are generally located in the thigh, legs, inner ankle and feet. They appear as twisted, enlarged or bulging veins, dark purple or blue in color. Often, varicose veins are not painful, however when there are symptoms, they may include:
- Achy, tired or heavy feeling in legs
- Burning or throbbing
- Muscle cramping
- Swelling in lower leg
- Pain that is worse after sitting or standing for a period of time
Edema (swelling) is caused by excess fluid trapped in the tissue of the body. Edema secondary to CVD slowly worsens throughout the day with prolonged sitting or standing and resolves overnight or with the legs elevated. Edema that persists is called chronic edema and results in chronic inflammation that can change the way the skin looks and feels, making it become progressively thicker or firmer (fibrotic). This is a sign that the delicate lymphatic system is damaged and these areas of skin are more susceptible to infection.
Signs and symptoms:
- Swelling of the legs directly under your skin
- Skin often appears shiny or stretched
- When pressed for several seconds, skin will imprint (pitting edema)
Unresolved venous edema can lead to a more serious condition known as phlebolymphedema, a combination of venous hypertension and a failing of the lymphatic system. Once the lymphatic system is compromised, swelling generally does not resolve overnight.