4 Really Odd Varicose Veins Symptoms

4 Really Odd Varicose Veins Symptoms

Do You Have Any of These Weird Varicose Veins Symptoms?

Many people understand that when varicose veins become big enough that they will hurt. Varicose veins are more than a cosmetic concern with most people who suffer from varicose veins symptoms.

People who have the following varicose vein symptoms often may not recognize that their varicose veins are the cause.

#1 Weird Varicose Veins Symptoms – Itching

People often ask me why their varicose veins itch. When your varicose veins become engorged, blood backs up. Waste products build up from the stagnant blood. The overlying skin becomes less healthy. This can even cause venous eczema in some people.

There are weird psychological aspects involved with itching. Even a discussion on the topic of itch can give you the desire to scratch.

The science of varicose veins itching is complicated. Studies have shown that inflammatory mediators including serotonin, prostaglandins, and histamine are released. These products activate receptors called pruriceptors. Neuro growth factors (NGF) are seen in inflamed tissue. These factors are related to a chemical called substance P. This substance P and serotonin can contribute to itch by increasing sensitization of the nerve cells and a release of histamine.

It warned you it was complicated.

Still awake?

Although most people think itching is a relatively harmless symptom, it can be a sign of more serious future problems. Venous stasis dermatitis (permanent brown discoloration of the skin), eczema, and ulcers or sores above the ankle can result.

#2 Weird Varicose Veins Symptoms – Restless legs

Varicose veins can cause restless legs. If you have varicose veins and they are treated, your restless leg symptoms will often improve.

One theory is that restless legs result from congestion in your varicose veins.  It often happens in the evening or night when you are not active.

With varicose veins, blood pools in your abnormally large veins. Your calf muscles pump blood out of your legs. Instinctively, you move your legs to activate the pump, which relieves the pressure in your veins.

There are other causes of restless legs including iron deficiency, diabetes, neuropathy, antidepressants, antihistamines, and alcohol. Some medical conditions like Parkinson’s disease, kidney failure and even pregnancy can cause restless leg syndrome.

The take home message is that if you have varicose veins and suffer from restless legs, you should have your varicose veins treated which often solves the problem.

# 3 Weird Varicose Veins Symptoms – Sensation of Fluid Trickling Down the Leg

In your veins, blood should travel in only one direction, which is towards your heart. When you stand or sit, gravity tries to pull the blood toward your feet. Normal valves in your veins prevent blood from going towards your feet in the wrong direct direction.

When your valves in your veins don’t close properly, the blood in your veins flows abnormally towards your feet.

People with varicose veins have described the strange sensation of fluid trickling down the outside of their leg.

They are surprised when they look at their legs and do not see any fluid on their skin. They are just feeling the blood inside their veins draining in the wrong direction while they are standing or sitting.

That is a creepy sensation!

#4 Weird Varicose Veins Symptoms – Cramping or Charley horses

You know how bad those night cramps can get. Maybe they are so severe that it takes seemingly forever to go away. Sometimes they even wake you up in the middle of the night.

When you are not active, the blood flow in your veins becomes stagnant. This is especially true if the valves in your veins do not close properly. Blood backs up and goes in the wrong direction (toward your feet) by gravity.

Oxygen and nutrients are depleted from the blood once it gets to the veins. The normal chemical equilibrium in your muscles is disrupted causing your muscles to tighten up when you don’t want them to contract. There is a chemical imbalance in your leg muscles.

The solution is to have your varicose veins treated. Although there are other reasons for night cramps, many people find great relief from their nightly leg cramps with proper treatment.


If you have varicose veins, strange sensations in your legs and odd symptoms can occur. Often people’s doctors, their friends or family tell you that your varicose veins are cosmetic.

Your varicose vein symptoms may be subtle at first. Varicose veins always get larger over time. They will not go away. It doesn’t help to try to ignore them.

Complications and worsening of this medical condition will occur if you neglect your varicose veins. Contrary to popular belief, most varicose veins are not cosmetic.

Choose a varicose vein center that you can trust.

Why put it off any longer?

If you suffer from any of the unusual symptoms in this article, give us a call at 724-969-0600 or contact us here for advice that you can trust.

About The Author

Dr. John Happel

Dr. John Happel has been in practice as a surgeon since 1986 in the Pittsburgh region. He specializes in vascular surgery and has subspecialized in the treatment of varicose and spider veins since 1999. Dr. Happel is board certified in vascular surgery and recertified in vascular surgery in 2012. He was chosen in 1985 to fulfill the position for the vascular surgical fellowship at the world renowned Mayo Clinic.