When varicose veins are very close to the surface of the skin, they may spontaneously rupture and bleed. A minor injury to the skin can also trigger bleeding, usually in the veins near the ankle. These may not cause any weakness or pain. When pressure builds up in varicose veins that are in the foot or ankle, the pressure may be as strong as arterial blood pressure because of the force of gravity along with the pressure of blood that pools in the veins. The vein may rupture and bleed into the surrounding tissue or through the surface of the skin if it has become very thin.
Varicose veins in the legs develop when the walls of the veins and the tiny valves inside of them become weak. These valves are supposed to stop the blood from flowing backwards and help keep it on a course to the heart. When they are unable to this, the blood starts to pool in the veins, causing some of them to swell up and twist. This vein may remain under the surface of the skin in its initial stages of development, and eventually start to show above the skin.
Some of the symptoms that you may experience before you see an enlarged vein are:
- Tenderness to the touch or pain in the lower legs
- Swelling in the legs
- Dark pigmentation on the feet, ankles or lower legs
- Itching with or without a rash
- Leg ulcers that are slow to heal
- Pain in the pelvic regions
When varicose veins bleed, there may only be a small amount of blood, or the pressure could be so great that the blood spurts many feet across the room. In this case, the bleeding is extremely serious and requires emergency attention. Before the emergency medical help arrives, we recommend that you raise the leg higher than the heart while applying pressure on the spot that is bleeding. First, put your finger over the hole and then apply pressure with a towel or other cloth. If you have help, you should also apply a pressure dressing. This dressing is kept in place with compression hose or an elastic bandage. These measures are only intended to be preliminary action until the emergency medical personnel arrive.
If you believe you are developing varicose veins or if you can already see veins just below the surface of your skin, we recommend you schedule a consultation with one of our specialists at South Texas Vein Institute. Our practice is proud to provide patients in the McAllen, Palmhurst, Pharr, and Edinberg areas of Texas with a number of varicose vein treatments, including sclerotherapy and endovenous laser ablation. Contact us today for more information about varicose veins or to schedule this consultation appointment.