Stages of Varicose Veins: What to Expect From Unpleasant Symptoms

Varicose veins are spreading more and more among the world population. More than half of the world's inhabitants suffer from this unpleasant and somewhat painful disease, and among the sick there are many more women.

varicose veins in the leg

The article will address the topic of what are varicose veins, types and stages of the disease.

short description

Varicose veins are characterized by the deformation and swelling of large venous vessels, which appear on the surface of the skin and are bluish in color.

Later, nodules appear, due to a malfunction of the intravenous valves responsible for venous blood flow, as a consequence, the circulation and flow of blood in the vessels decrease, the intravenous pressure increases and the vessel walls stretch.

Deformed veins become visible under the surface of the skin, a capillary network visible to the naked eye forms. And the larger the vase, the more noticeable its change in the shape of nodules and a dark bluish tinge.

Varicose veins - not only make the person suffer from the unsightly aspect of the lower extremities, but are also extremely dangerous for the patient's health and life, especially in the chronic stages of development.

Therefore, monitoring the health status of the vessels in the legs is an urgent need for anyone, as often in the early stages of disease development, the person does not realize that not everything is in order with their health.


Varicose veins in the legs are manifested by the following unpleasant factors:

  • A feeling of overload and heaviness in the calves of the legs, at night the patient's only desire is to remove the tight shoes as quickly as possible, assume a horizontal position, relax tense muscles.
  • Feeling of fullness in the affected area, painful veins visibly press on the gastrocnemius muscle.
  • A burning sensation in the unhealthy area becomes palpable, there is a desire to rub the legs over the uncomfortable area.
  • Convulsive manifestations occur, especially in the later stages of disease development. Seizures often occur at night, sometimes up to five to six times, as a result of which the person wakes up with strong feelings of pain.
  • The vascular pattern, projecting onto the surface of the skin, becomes noticeable and, as the disease develops, the veins tend to expand and deform externally.
  • The swelling of the calf muscles becomes a constant companion of the venous patient, which disappears after a full night's rest and, in the later stages of the disease, becomes permanent and is accompanied by painful tugs.

Disease Varieties

Currently, the following types of varicose veins have been scientifically established and confirmed:

  1. Chronic deformity and swelling of the veins in the rectum is a hemorrhoidal syndrome.
  2. There are also varicose veins, which only occur in humans: the expansion of the veins of the uviform process of the spermatic cord and/or testicles, the scientific name is varicocele.
  3. Expansion of veins located in the gastric walls and esophageal tissues.
  4. Malformation of peripheral vessels (Parks-Weber-Rubashov disease). This type is accompanied by chronic deformation of the affected area of the body, due to the growth of multiple fistulas, the soft tissues are significantly modified and increased in size.
  5. Varicose veins of the lower extremities.

The most common and frequently diagnosed types of varicose veins in patients are varicose veins in the legs.

The degree of varicose veins

Doctors specializing in the field of venous disease treatment have identified seven stages of varicose veins in the lower extremities. Each one of them has certain symptoms and manifestations, realizing in time what can prevent the appearance of the next, more serious phase, of varicose veins.


With a certain degree of varicose veins, the person does not feel nocturnal heaviness or burning in the legs, there are no spider veins, cramps, deformed blue veins and other attributes of the disease, but there is a predisposition to this.

The first

When the initial stage of varicose veins in the legs occurs, heaviness and swelling at night appear, which completely disappears after a relaxing night's rest. Sometimes a faint mesh of capillaries protruding from the surface of the skin is already noticeable.

First-degree varicose veins can go on for three months to a year without deterioration. Sometimes the initial degree of varicose veins in the legs passes with almost no acute onset of symptoms, the patient feels like a completely healthy person. Varicose veins, which are a trap at this stage - a person continues to lead the old lifestyle instead of taking timely preventive measures, and this inevitably leads to the development of the disease.

First-degree varicose veins are mainly treated with external agents - ointments and creams that relieve tiredness and give the necessary tone to the vessels.

leg pain in the first stage of varicose veins

The second

When second-degree varicose veins are installed, the swelling is stronger and much more noticeable, the heaviness in the legs is more intense and painful. Often these manifestations of venous disease do not disappear overnight, the swelling is visible in the morning.

The patient may also suffer from cramps that occur at night, an unpleasant painful spasm involves the calf muscle, and relaxation occurs after a few minutes.

Second-degree varicose veins in the lower extremities are a harbinger of thrombophlebitis. Second-degree varicose veins involve treatment primarily with medications, which are prescribed by a phlebologist in the early stages of the disease.

The third

The edema eventually becomes chronic, and the deformation and darkening of the venous vessels are already noticeable at first glance. There is an unpleasant burning sensation in the veins. In the case of late treatment, grade 3 varicose veins already presuppose the formation of blood clots.

Grade 3 varicose veins provide treatment with both drugs and surgery.

third stage of varicose veins


This phase is marked by the appearance of trophic phenomena on the skin. Due to the insufficient blood supply, the skin on the legs becomes dry and inelastic, changing color to a more intense, even dark brown tone.

Inflammatory processes of varying severity occur, from small red spots to large-scale formations that do not heal. As a result, the skin on the legs partially atrophies, which manifests itself with the appearance of white areas in the affected area. These areas are the future sites for the formation of trophic ulcers.

In this and subsequent phases, the drug no longer helps; doctors primarily prescribe a procedure of phlebectomy (removal of a vein by surgery) or laser coagulation.

fifth and sixth

All of the above and trophic ulcers that heal with proper treatment. In stage 6, a trophic ulcer that is not treatable and completely curable.


If you want to keep your legs healthy for as long as possible, you should carefully monitor their condition. There are often cases in which the manifestations of varicose veins, severity, nocturnal edema, a network of capillaries are perceived as a consequence of simple fatigue or age-related changes.

If you "sound the alarm" in time, start treatment early, the development of the disease may be stopped until all symptoms are completely eliminated.

In case it is already necessary to treat varicose veins, there are several ways to deal with this. Remember that only the phlebologist has the right to diagnose an illness, prescribe any medication or procedure.

Before using any prophylactic or medication, be sure to consult a specialist. Be healthy!