Varicose veins can develop at any age and tend to get worse over time. They develop more commonly in women and may have some hormonal component. There are also genetic factors at work. Most people with varicose veins experience symptoms which may include: aching, a full heavy sensation, throbbing, tingling, itching, or swelling. If left untreated, varicose veins can cause brown staining called hemosiderin deposition, as well as white patches called atrophie blanche.
Additionally, flaking itchy skin called stasis dermatitis can cause infection if irritated. If allowed to progress further, patients may develop stasis ulcers or bleeding. For decades, doctors have ignored varicose veins, but varicose veins are much more than a cosmetic issue.