Venous malformations are veins that have developed abnormally and continue to grow over time. They are typically present at birth, and often unnoticeable until childhood or adolescence. As they become more pronounced, they may appear as a bluish-colored bruise on the skin. They can also be found deeper in the body and involve larger abnormal vessels, which can pose a risk for blood clots.
Venous malformations can occur anywhere on the body, however, they are most commonly seen on the head and neck. They can range in size from tiny dots to large disfigurations. And depending on the location of the malformation(s), symptoms can vary greatly, ranging from little to no discomfort to acute self-consciousness to extreme pain and swelling.
Treatment is typically focused on managing the malformation to decrease the size and symptoms or to reduce or prevent potential problems. Smaller, painless malformations that occur on the skin’s surface may only require observation. Larger, more extensive lesions may be treated through procedures such as sclerotherapy or the surgical removal of the malformation.
Symptoms may include