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Varicose, Spider Veins, or DVT: Blue or Purple Veins

by | Jul 21, 2023

Blue or purple veins may indicate the presence of dilated and malfunctioning veins. These colors are often associated with increased pressure in the veins and pooling of blood, highlighting the need for further evaluation and potential treatment for varicose veins, spider veins, or DVT to address the underlying venous insufficiency.

Legs of woman resting on green grass on a sunny day

What Do Blue or Purple Veins Mean? 

Many of us experience some sort of venous disorder at one point or another. Varicose and spider veins aren’t the most pleasing to look at but for the most part, they are relatively harmless. Other venous disorders such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) can be more severe and require medical attention. Regardless of the type, if you are experiencing sudden changes in appearance or discomfort, it’s important to seek medical attention. Because of their unpleasant appearance , colors, and the fact they are linked to blood clots, many questions arise about varicose veins, spider veins, and DVT.

 

What Are Venous Disorders?

Using a one-way path system, veins move oxygen-poor blood to our hearts that then pump it to our lungs where it is filtered of waste. From there, oxygen-rich blood is created and pumped back through our hearts and transported to the rest of our bodies. This newly rejuvenated blood gives nutrients and oxygen to our brains, feet, and everything in between.

When the valves in our veins start to malfunction or deteriorate, it causes blood to pool in these areas which causes venous diseases. Blood should continue to flow smoothly along the one-way path through our veins. However, once this collection of blood builds up, it enlarges the veins, stretches them out, and creates various abnormalities that are rope or spider-like in appearance.

According to the National Institutes of Health, varicose veins are are a common condition caused by weak or damaged vein walls and valves. Veins have one-way valves inside them that open and close to keep blood flowing toward the heart. Weak or damaged valves or walls in the veins can cause blood to pool and even flow backwards.

What do varicose veins include? Understand the symptoms of varicose veins, different types, causes, and more with our helpful blog post and video on varicose veins. It may involve several factors such as family history, hormone levels, and high blood pressure to develop varicose veins. Don’t let these blood clots last long term and become complications of varicose veins.

 

Blue Veins on Legs: Causes and Symptoms

Veins that are not protruding from your skin are most likely harmless spider veins. Varicose veins bulge from your skin and contain a lumpy snake-like texture. They are also a sign that your vascular system is having trouble with blood flow in that area. If left untreated, this could pose a risk to future health conditions. Other symptoms to watch for are:

      • SwellingThe pressure from the buildup of blood in the veins causes excess fluid to leak out into nearby tissue.
      • Ulcers: Between the itching, swelling, and bruising, the lack of nutrients and oxygen prevents the skin from healing properly. Ulcers are essentially open sores that are prone to infection.
      • Infection: The stretching and irritation can start to become red and tender. As the infection worsens you may experience a fever and intense pain.
      • Itching: A common symptom that happens due to the vein being enlarged and blood leaking through the skin’s pores, causing venous stasis dermatitis.
      • Bleeding: Because the skin around varicose veins are extra thin and delicate, simple bumps and nicks can cause external as well as intradermal bleeding. Although it’s nothing to panic about, you should seek a professional’s opinion.

Our blog post on “Leg swelling: Causes, Risks, and Venous Diseases” gives you the information that you need to figure out what is going on, visual examples, and important questions to ask. 

Purple Veins on Legs: Causes and Symptoms

Skin tones can influence the color of veins which are usually in the blue, green, or purple spectrum. However, prominent purple veins could indicate deep vein thrombosis. DVT occurs when a blood clot and inflammation occurs inside a major vein–usually one that’s deep inside the body and hidden by muscle. Blood clots can be life threatening as they are capable of breaking off, traveling to the lungs and blocking arteries which can cause pulmonary embolisms. Four symptoms of DVT your doctor will look for are:

      • Hard veins deep inside your skin
      • Leg swelling
      • Leg Pain
      • Inflammation and skin that’s warm to the touch

Keep reading to learn more on our blog post “Deep Vein Thrombosis: Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment”, the difference between DVT and varicose veins, possible tips on flying and exercise as well as how to choose the right compression stockings.

 

Am I at Risk of Varicose Veins, Spider Veins, or DVT?

The appearance of varicose and spider veins on your body is nothing of immediate concern. If there are symptoms associated with them, schedule a visit with your doctor to diagnose and treat varicose veins. Spider veins, varicose veins, and DVT can occur on individuals with all body types, genders, and ages. The following demographics may have a higher chance of experiencing them.

      • Those who are overweight (therefore, maintain a healthy weight to reduce the pressure)
      • Pregnant women
      • Females
      • Individuals between the ages of 40 and 80
      • Those who are inactive/not exercising (even sitting or standing for long periods)
      • Smoker
      • Frequent flyers
      • Those who have had surgery or leg trauma

Learn more about “Spider Veins: Types, Symptoms, and Treatment”. Although they might be a cosmetic concern, they can also lead to serious health issues.  

 

Tips for Maintaining Healthy Veins 

Treatments might involve taking preventative measures or seeking the expert help of a varicose veins specialist, Dr. Manish Taneja. First and foremost, incorporating exercises into your daily routine will help improve blood flow. If weight is a factor in added pressure on your legs, consider exercising and changing your diet. Lastly, other lifestyle choices such as avoiding heels and tight socks; moving your legs more if you tend to sit for long hours; quitting tobacco products; and compression therapy using special socks are other ways to prevent varicose veins. (Learn more about best practices to follow on our other blog post, “How to Prevent Varicose Veins”

 

Treat Varicose Veins at Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic

Whether you want to improve the appearance of varicose veins or take preventative health measures, a medical professional will be able to provide you with a treatment plan. Call Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic to schedule a consultation today.

Varicose Veins and Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI)

When the veins in the legs do not allow the appropriate blood flow to your heart, chronic venous insufficiency or CVI can develop.

Complications of Untreated Varicose Veins

Neglecting Treatment for Varicose Veins Can Have Impacts On Your Quality of Life

The long-term effects of varicose veins can vary according to severity but include complications such as:

  • Pain and discomfort: Untreated varicose veins can cause pain and discomfort that may limit your activities.
  • Swelling in the legs: The increased pressure within the veins can lead to edema resulting in swelling and discomfort.
  • Risk of infection: Scratching the skin around varicose veins can potentially lead to infections that might be difficult to treat.
  • Blood clot formation (thrombosis): Clots forming within the veins pose a risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) which could potentially lead to embolism if a clot dislodges and travels to the lungs.
  • Thrombophlebitis: This is a condition characterized by inflammation in the veins, which can cause discomfort such as pain, swelling and redness. As the skin around the veins becomes thinner over time, there is a possibility of experiencing bleeding due to increased vulnerability to injuries.
  • Ulcers: Chronic venous ulcers can result in unhealed wounds increasing the risk of infection. Itchy and inflamed skin can progress into dermatitis or eczema causing discomfort and irritation.
  • Lipodermatosclerosis: This is a condition where the skin hardens and changes color resembling leather in appearance.

Consult a Vascular Specialist for Your Varicose Veins and Spider Veins

Dr. Manish Taneja, a certified vascular and varicose veins specialist in Singapore, has extensive experience in the treatment of all vascular interventions and looks after venous diseases like varicose veins, spider veins, and reticular veins. Reach out to us to arrange your varicose veins appointment today and come in for a further evaluation.

 

Dr. Manish Taneja performing surgery

Varicose Veins Resources

Explore our varicose veins and spider veins resources for patients. Gain insight into the diagnosis and treatment of varicose and spider veins conditions, their underlying causes, symptoms, and complications. Connect with your vascular health.

Keep Varicose Veins and Spider Veins at Bay

If your legs feel sore persistently, achy when standing long periods, or maybe you notice blue or purple veins even bulging in the area, chances are these symptoms of varicose veins and spider veins could lead to other serious venous diseases such as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI), or Leg Swelling due to increased pressure forming larger blood clots over time. Varicose veins are fully treatable with minimally invasive procedures and treatments offering minimal downtime and quick recovery preventing further complications. Long term effects of untreated varicose veins can hinder your daily life and impact your health.

The Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic in Singapore is here to diagnose and treat varicose veins smoothening patients’ experience to find relief and comfort. As a vascular and interventional radiology specialist based in Singapore, Dr. Manish Taneja looks after a spectrum of venous diseases, peripheral vascular malformations, and peripheral arterial disease. Dr. Manish Taneja also has extensive experience in performing all vascular interventions, non-vascular interventions and interventional oncology procedures.

Other Health Conditions

The Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic is your “go-to” facility for various conditions and treatments. To arrange an appointment with Dr. Manish Taneja, our varicose veins specialist, contact us. You can also call us at (+65) 6904 8084 for a consultation.