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Identifying Varicose Veins

by – October 8, 2014

Identifying varicose veins is not as simple and straightforward as some people might think.  Obvious instances are easily spotted in sufferers who have the wiggly, blue veins that are often seen on the backs and fronts of thighs and the lower leg.

Before and after photos of a varicose veins patient treated at The Whiteley Clinic by Mr Barrie Price

Before and after photos of a varicose veins patient treated at The Whiteley Clinic by Mr Barrie Price

But what about the diseased veins that are underlying and not visible on the surface – what other signs should you be looking for?

There are signs to look out for that may indicate valves are malfunctioning in the legs and that ‘hidden’ varicose veins are present.

Swollen Ankles

Hidden instances of varicose veins can cause the ankles to swell. Sufferers may put this down to other reasons such as air travel, hot weather or water retention but it could also be a sign that the valves in the legs are not working correctly.

Aching and restless legs

Another sign to look out for is ‘restless’ legs.  Many patients tell us that their legs become very uncomfortable at night, often causing them difficulty in sleeping and they complain that their legs feel heavy and tired.

Thread Veins/Spider Veins

These pesky little veins that appear on the legs are also referred to as spider veins, broken veins or thread veins. These are a very clear indicator that varicose veins are present and 9 out of 10 people with thread veins will have malfunctioning valves.


Having relatives with venous problems does make it likely that you will too but doesn’t necessarily mean that you will go on to develop them. It also does not mean to say that your children will have them too, although they will be more likely to, than most other children.

What to do if you think you have varicose veins?

Early diagnosis and treatment of varicose veins results in simpler and more cost effective treatment plans.  If you think you may have varicose veins, then the first step is to have a Duplex ultrasound scan by a specialist experienced in vein treatments to identify any underlying ‘hidden’ varicose veins.

To find out more about varicose veins and how they can be treated, please visit The Whiteley Clinic home page



The contents of this site are for informational purposes only and are meant to be discussed with your doctor or other qualified health care professional before being acted on. Always seek the advice of a doctor or other licensed health care professional regarding any questions you have about your medical condition(s) and treatment(s). This site and the information provided is not a substitute for medical advice.
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