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Veins Around Ankles

Bulging Varicose Veins, as well as spider veins and blue veins around the ankles are an important sign of Superficial Venous Reflux. If they cause discomfort, swelling or a skin rash, they should be taken seriously and investigated by Duplex Ultrasound Scanning.

Bulging Veins Around Ankles


Varicose Veins around Ankles and Ankle Swelling

You may be surprised to know that enlarged veins around your ankle are often caused by a leaky vein in your groin. It’s a condition called Superficial Venous Reflux.

The superficial veins join the deep veins at various points along the leg. One of the most important junctions is in the groin.

Blood is prevented from flowing out of the deep veins and into the superficial veins by the action of the valves. In a condition called Superficial Venous Reflux, the valves at these junctions and within the superficial veins are not functioning properly.

In Superficial Venous Reflux, blood flows down the superficial veins in the wrong direction, back down towards the feet. This back pressure damages valves further down the leg and stretches the veins under the skin. Varicose veins then develop. The ankle area bears the brunt of Superficial Venous Reflux. It is one of the first places that you see spider veins appear and then varicose veins develop.

In this photograph, there lumpy veins around the ankle and ankle swelling (odema).



The treatment of lumpy veins around the ankle with swelling is based on a Duplex Ultrasound Scan. The Superficial Venous Reflux is then treated. In line with National Guidance, this usually means Endovenous Laser Ablation at our clinic.

In this photograph you can see that the successful treatment of the abnormal reflux has resulted in the in the resolution of the varicose veins around the ankle and the dispersal of the ankle swelling.

In addition, this patient had less discomfort and her risks of complications are reduced.

It is always much better to intervene at an early stage before the skin has been damaged. Early treatment provides an improvement in:

  1. Symptoms such as aching and throbbing
  2. Appearance with shrinking of bulging veins and fading of blue veins
  3. The health of the leg and the skin around the ankle

We use Near Infra-red Laser Imaging Devices to “look under the skin” for hidden feeder veins.

Successful treatment of spider veins on the foot requires the identification of these varicose veins and feeder veins.

Spider Veins on the Foot

We frequently see patients whose main concern is the unsightly appearance of spider veins on the foot. 

As part of our assessment, we carefully examine the ankle and foot after the patient has been standing for a few minutes. This reveals any varicose veins and “feeder” veins that might be causing the spider veins. 

Unless the varicose veins and feeder veins are addressed, treatment of the spider veins by direct injections will not be successful.


Blue Veins Around the Ankle

Blue Veins around the ankle are often a very early warning sign that the skin around the ankle is being affected by Superficial Vein Reflux. 

If neglected, they spread and become a fan-shaped collection of veins extending from the ankle bone and into the foot. 

In its severe form, it is called Corona Phlebectatica and it is a sign of severe vein disease.

What happens if painful or itchy ankle veins are ignored?

Without treatment, Corona Phlebectatica can then progress to varicose eczema and ultimately to a leg ulcer.

Home Treatment for Veins Around the Ankle

If the veins around your ankle are mild, you can manage the condition yourself. For instance, try to apply the following home remedies:

  • Regular exercise such as walking, swimming or cycling
  • Compression Socks Wearing medical-grade compression socks has a number of health benefits including supporting the bulging veins
  • Keep legs elevated – this prevents blood from pooling in the lower extremities
  • Massage improves blood circulation 
  • Avoid tight clothing

Medical Treatment for Veins around the Ankle

When ankle veins are causing ache, pain, swelling, itch or a skin rash, a Duplex Ultrasound Scan should be considered. If there is Superficial Venous Reflux it should be treated in line with National Guidance. At our clinic this is by Endovenous Laser Ablation

Treatment of veins around ankle and foot

Results of Endovenous Laser Ablation Treatment for Veins around the Ankle


This patient had severe ache, swelling and throbbing of her right leg and ankle. The clinical photograph shows that she had large varicose veins affecting her calf and many blue veins around her ankle. 

After treatment by endovenous laser of the refluxing vein in her groin and thigh, the swelling has gone, the varicose veins are gone and the blue veins around her ankle are gone.

Not only that, but her leg feels so much better. She no longer has ache and throbbing and her restless leg symptoms are also better.

The risks of leg ulceration, DVT, phlebitis and varicose eczema are also greatly reduced.