Dr Susanne Winter, specialist in dermatology, venerology and phlebology at the Tabea Hospital in Hamburg.

http://www.tabea-fachklinik.de/de/

What are the symptoms of varicose veins and when should patients seek treatment? Are there long-term effects if not treated?

Dr Susanne Winter:

Commonly described symptoms include heavy legs and a feeling of tension, especially after sitting or standing for a long period of time. Many patients also report swollen ankles. If these symptoms are ignored, long-term effects and complications can occur. Often, after some time, changes to the skin occur, in the form of a brownish discolouration. This is often accompanied by itching. An “open leg” or superficial phlebitis are other long-term effects.