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Varicose vein burn is a real issue. While other side effects such as skin discoloration may seem obvious or expected, the throbbing and burning pain that can accompany varicose veins is often a mystery. So why does varicose vein burn happen? And what can be done about it? Let’s explore the topic in depth.  

Could It Be Nothing?

If your legs start to burn, you might feel inclined to just wait until the pain passes. In some cases, that’s okay; many symptoms that some attribute to varicose veins are really just side effects of other activities. For example, after intense exercise, pain is totally normal. The difference between something like this and burning caused by varicose veins is simple: with varicose veins, while the pain may come and go, it consistently comes in the same spots. It also may be accompanied by other symptoms like itching and redness. Keep in mind that you don’t always have to see varicose veins before you experience their side effects!  

Why Varicose Veins Burn

There are a few reasons why your varicose veins might sometimes feel like they’ve just caught flame; occasionally, it can be a sign that there’s a bigger issue you should be worried about. Let’s look at a few reasons why your varicose veins are heating up.  

Venous insufficiency

Venous insufficiency is one of the causes of both varicose veins and their many side effects. Normally, your body is supposed to circulate blood, pumping it from the heart to the arms and legs then back. However, muscles and valves doing this in your legs can weaken over time, increasing their likelihood of failure. When that happens, it causes blood to pool in a certain area, sometimes resulting in a varicose vein. Burning sensations are common when this happens, mainly as a consequence of their resultant skin irritation.  

Varicose eczema

The primary side effect of varicose eczema — also known as stasis dermatitis — is itching, but many who have the condition also report burning sensations. Varicose eczema is a result of venous insufficiency and occurs when blood leaks into body tissue. After this happens, the skin in the area can become red, crusty, and swollen. Those afflicted with varicose eczema also report burning feelings and dry, cracked skin in the area. If left untreated, this can lead to the development of venous ulcers and red and purple sores. While already an uncomfortable situation, it can get worse; the cracks that emerge as a result of varicose eczema make one an easy target for infection, and if you’re not careful, this skin malady can transform into full-blown cellulitis or worse.  

Superficial thrombophlebitis

Also known by its abbreviated name “Phlebitis,” superficial thrombophlebitis happens when a blot clot causes a vein to become inflamed near the surface of the skin. This is accompanied by not only pain, but visible deformations — redness, hard lumps underneath the skin, and more can all be signs of superficial thrombophlebitis.  Luckily, superficial thrombophlebitis isn’t serious, and most cases will resolve themselves naturally in a few weeks, with discoloration and lumps occasionally lasting up to three or four months. However, if superficial thrombophlebitis is experienced on or near a varicose vein, it’s likely that the condition will return again and again in the coming months or years.  

What You Can Do

Treatment for the “varicose vein burn” comes in three forms: prevention, reduction, and removal. We’ve already talked at length about varicose vein prevention, but in short, keeping a good diet and maintaining a regular exercise routine reduces your likelihood of developing varicose veins. For our full guide to preventing varicose veins, click here. To reduce the burning feeling, try elevating your legs and stretching your legs. Doing this can get the blood moving again and provide temporary relief from feelings of discomfort. Additionally, you can try covering your legs in cold water. Cold water causes blood vessels to contract and can, for at least a brief period, alleviate leg pain. Finally, as burning can sometimes be the result of over-itching, using an antihistamine cream to reduce itch may eventually reduce the symptoms of varicose vein burn. However, the best solution for nearly all of these issues is to stop them at their source: the varicose veins themselves. Luckily, we offer many treatment options to remove varicose veins and stop varicose vein burn forever. If you’re curious, check out our free virtual vein consultation to see how we can help you today.