Varicose veins – the blue, web-like veins on your legs that seemingly come out of nowhere. Your initial thought is to figure out how to hide them. You’re not sure where they came from or what to make of them. You might think they’ll go away. Unfortunately, if not properly addressed, varicose veins have the potential of causing long-term discomfort and health problems that go far beyond just your appearance. So, what are varicose veins and what can you do about them? We break it down here.
Causes of varicose veins
Your veins contain valves that are responsible for keeping your blood flowing and preventing blood from backing up or pooling in a certain area. If these valves fail, the blood pools and the blood vessels swell and become distorted.
Varicose veins can be a result of a genetic predisposition. Otherwise, you increase your risk of developing varicose veins with the following:
– Being overweight
– Standing for several hours at a time
– As a side effect of pregnancy
Symptoms of varicose veins
How do you know if you have varicose veins? The symptoms are not solely cosmetic. In addition to dark purple or blue veins on your legs, you can experience other symptoms as well. This may include:
– Permanent skin discoloration
– Chronic pain
– Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
– Blood clots
How serious can varicose veins become?
Cosmetic concerns are the least of your worries when it comes to varicose veins. If left untreated, varicose veins have the potential to become rather serious. Not only can they result in blood clots, but also are associated with the following:
– Spontaneous bleeding – which can occur as the skin on the top of the varicose vein becomes thin. The veins can become so fragile that even clothing can injure them.
– Venous leg ulcers – which can occur when the enlarged vein doesn’t provide enough drainage of fluid from the skin.
– Superficial phlebitis (ST) – can be caused by decreased blood flow through the vein, damage to the vein, or blood clotting.
– Skin breakdown and wound issues (in rare cases)
Treatment options for varicose veins
For at-home remedies, wearing compression-type socks or stockings can help avoid pain and prevent you from injuring the veins. Additionally, leg elevation, exercise, and pumping your feet can all aid in protecting the veins and preventing the symptoms from exacerbating.
In all cases, it is safest to seek consultation for further treatment. The treatment options a doctor will advise will depend widely based on the underlying issue, ranging from minimally invasive incisions to surgery. All cases should be treated on an individual basis.
Selecting the right specialist for treating varicose veins
You’ll want to find a doctor that is familiar with the wide range of treatment options available and are experienced in podiatric and vascular care. It’s important to find a doctor you can trust and who will outline all your options, recommending the best one for your individual case.
Vein problems are not just a cosmetic concern, and early treatment of varicose veins is essential for preventing further symptoms. Thanks to modern technology, today’s virtually pain-free laser procedures offer non-invasive options for patients suffering from varicose veins.
Dr. Nina Coletta’s podiatric practice offers cutting-edge laser technology for vein treatment that can help relieve your pain and prevent more serious symptoms from taking effect. If you think you may have varicose veins, learn about Dr. Nina Coletta’s laser technology options and consider booking a consultation.