Why Are My Varicose and Spider Veins Itchy?

If you have varicose or spider veins, you might notice yourself itching quite a bit.  At first, you probably thought you were having an allergic reaction or maybe had a mosquito bite.  Now, you’ve realized that the itching has to do with your varicose or spider veins. Find out why itching is a common symptom of varicose and spider veins and what you can do to relieve it.


Reasons That Varicose and Spider Veins Itch

Spider veins and varicose veins occur when the pressure builds up in your blood vessels.  The pressure increases because of damage to one way valves in our veins.  This leads to pooling of blood which can damage the blood vessels, leading to varicose veins.  Varicose veins can eventually leak and become inflamed, causing a condition called venous stasis dermatitis.  The condition kicks in the body’s inflammatory response, preventing enough oxygen from reaching the skin.  When that happens, your spider and varicose veins start itching.  While the itching can be intense, you can get relief from it.


At-home Relief for Itchy Varicose and Spider Veins

First, don’t scratch varicose and spider veins.  Scratching can actually injure the veins further, increasing the inflammatory response.  That means it will itch even more.  In addition, scratching the vein can break the skin, causing an infection.

Next, moisturize the irritated skin two times a day.  You can also apply a topical steroid cream to the affected area.  The cream will reduce the swelling and inflammation, thus alleviating the itchiness. 

Taking antihistamines like benadryl are also an option when dealing with itchy varicose and spider veins.  Histamine is released by white blood cells in response to the inflammatory response and cellular damage from the pooling of blood in the varicose veins.  This medication will decrease the amount of histamine in your body, so you won’t itch nearly as much.

You can also try some conservative treatments to alleviate your symptoms.  Manage your symptoms by wearing compression stockings, elevating your legs, maintaining your ideal weight, and exercising daily.  Also, avoid sitting or standing for long periods. 


Undergo Varicose Vein Treatment

If you want to put the itchiness behind you, varicose vein treatment might be the right choice.  Dr. Vinay Madan at the Center for Varicose Veins offers minimally invasive treatment that collapses the varicose veins.  This diverts the blood to healthy veins, so you won’t have to worry about itchiness and other symptoms.  Contact the Center for Varicose Veins to schedule a consultation.  Dr. Madan can discuss various minimally invasive treatment options, including endovenous laser ablation (EVLA), VenaSeal, radiofrequency ablation (RFA), and sclerotherapy. 

Dr. Vinay Madan, MD, DABVLM Dr. Vinay Madan, MD, DABVLM Dr. Vinay Madan is a board certified Interventional Radiologist and Phlebologist with over 25 years of experience in treating vein disease. Dr. Madan has served as the Chairman of Radiology and Section Head of Vascular Interventional Radiology at Eastern Connecticut Health Network. Dr. Madan brings a wealth of knowledge which allows him to treat patients with cosmetic and medical vein disease in a caring and compassionate way.

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