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Are varicose veins and spider veins painful or dangerous?

They can be achy or painful, or cause a burning sensation. Because they are symptoms of an underlying disease process, they are potentially dangerous and you should see a cardiologist for monitoring or treatment.

Spider veins usually do not need medical treatment. But varicose veins usually enlarge and worsen over time. This pooling of blood in the veins slows the return of blood to the heart. This can lead to chronic venous insufficiency, which can cause leg swelling, ulcers, and pain. Venous insufficiency can in unusual cases also cause blood clots and severe infections. Blood clots can be very dangerous because they can move from leg veins and travel to the lungs. Blood clots in the lungs are life-threatening because they can block the heart and lungs from functioning. Sores or skin ulcers can occur on skin tissue around varicose veins. Ongoing irritation, swelling and painful rashes of the legs can also occur.

This answer is based on source information from The National Women's Health Information Center.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.