Varicose veins

The 5 Stages of Vein Disease, and the Treatment Options for Each

vein disease
Written by Nancy

Around 1–3% of the general population is affected by some form of vein disease. Venous disorders and diseases are categorized as lower extremity diseases. Millions of Americans suffer from them, and that’s not even taking chronic vein disease into account.

If vein diseases aren’t treated in time, there’s good chance that they might metamorphose into Chronic Venous Insufficiency Disease, or CVI. CVI is painful—an uglier side of vein disease that you don’t want to have to deal with.

And it spans over five stages.

1.     Spider Veins

Also known as reticular veins, these are purplish veins that begin showing near the skin. They do not, however, protrude. They’re shaped like a spider web under the skin—hence the name. They might be too small to see at times, which is why so many people ignore their appearance. The fact that they’re painless also adds to this.

Then comes…

2.     Varicose Veins

varicose veins

Eventually, these spider veins become enlarged and start to bulge. They’ll protrude from your legs. This is when people start getting concerned about the condition. For many people, varicose veins are accompanied by swollen feet and legs.

Varicose veins can also be painful and irritating to hide.

3.     Swelling

If not treated in time, varicose veins will be characterized by the swelling of the ankles and legs. The legs become inflamed and the underlying cause in this case is bad circulation. You might also notice large patches of red and purple—this is a manifestation of blood pooling due to the varicose veins. In other words, you’re looking at a case of chronic venous insufficiency.

4.     Lipodermatosclerosis

Or in simpler words, your skin becomes discolored. This happens on and around the region affected by varicose veins. You might be looking at skin that feels leathery to the touch and has turned brown.

The fatty tissue that lies under your skin also becomes inflamed and adds to this. This is a painful stage, and will be characterized by itchiness and irritation. You might also have to deal with cracking and bleeding skin.

5.     Ulcers and More

Eventually, you will develop sores. If a sore is left open and doesn’t heal, it transforms into an ulcer. Ulcers that happen due to varicose veins are usually venous stasis. What’s happening is that these varicose veins are not sending blood back to your heart, and the chronic venous insufficiency is causing these ulcers.

6.     The Treatment Options

There are various treatment options that you can avail for vein disease. These include ClariVein, VenaSeal, Varithena, sclerotherapy, laser ablation, and radiofrequency ablation. Visit a varicose vein specialist to find out which treatment option will work best for you—it will depend on how bad your vein disease is and what stage you’re at. If you’re looking for varicose vein treatment in NYC, Varicose Veins Doctors is where you want to go.

About the author


I’m Nancy and no, I didn’t always look like I do in that picture on the right. My foray into health and fitness began as a brace-faced, 16 year-old who was too afraid to wear a two-piece at the beach because I felt my body paled in comparison to my much more toned friends.

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