stages of Varicose veins

5 Stages of Varicose Veins and Vein Disease

Varicose veins may look harmless at first—but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Over time, these unsightly veins can develop into vein disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 900,000 Americans are affected by deep vein thrombosis (DVT) each year. Of that number, between 60,000 and 100,000 pass away. 

If you are in the early stages of varicose veins, then it’s important to get your veins healthy as soon as possible. Below are the five stages of vein disease and how to prevent varicose veins from worsening.

The Stages of Vein Disease

It’s important to spot the warning signs of vein disease and when to seek treatment. As varicose veins progress, you might start to notice unpleasant or uncomfortable symptoms like the following:

Stage 1: Spider Veins

Close up of Spider Veins on knees back of knees

Spider veins are the first indication of vein disease. These weblike veins are typically purple, blue, or red and weave around the outer layer of your skin. Spider veins usually don’t hurt and can be treated with a non-invasive procedure called sclerotherapy.

Stage 2: Varicose Veins

treating and removing large varicose veins

Varicose veins are the next stage in vein disease. These veins bulge and twist around your legs and feet. Varicose veins can cause pain and discomfort in your legs such as burning, throbbing, aching, and numbness. These types of veins develop as a result of improper blood flow through unhealthy veins.

Stage 3: Edema

edema blood pooling

Also known as swelling, edema occurs when blood pools in your legs after prolonged sitting or standing. Edema is typically the first major sign of chronic venous insufficiency. Those who suffer from edema likely have an accompanying condition like high blood pressure or heart disease.

Stage 4: Skin Changes

foot skin discoloration


People who develop swelling will generally notice skin changes and discoloration. The skin can start to look brown and leathery as a result of blood leaking and pooling in the skin tissue. These skin changes can lead to cracking, bleeding, and eventually, venous ulcers.

Stage 5: Ulcers

Foot ulcer diagram

Venous disease that has reached an advanced stage will show up in the form of ulcers. Ulcers are extremely painful and take a long time to heal, and infected ulcers can cause even more complications. If you have an ulcer, medical intervention is needed in addition to constant dressing. Symptoms at this stage of vein disease include painful open sores, extreme pain in the legs, and limited mobility.

How to Prevent Varicose Veins

Treating your varicose veins as soon as you spot the early signs can help slow their progression. In many cases, varicose veins can be managed through diet changes, exercise, and compression stockings. The team at Gilvydis Vein Clinic can also effectively treat varicose veins through non-invasive outpatient treatments like endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) and sclerotherapy.


Stop the Progression of Vein Disease With Gilvydis

Varicose veins don’t have to bring you down. When you schedule a consultation at Gilvydis Vein Clinic, you’re choosing a team of experts dedicated to your overall health and wellness. Gilvydis Vein Clinic has performed over 24,000 successful laser vein treatments that have led to patients living their lives to the fullest. Prevent vein disease before it’s too late, and schedule an appointment today.

Request a FREE Screening