Varicose veins can affect a large portion of the adult population. These superficial veins are larger, twisted, dilated, and appear most commonly on legs and thighs. They can be embarrassing to look at but also uncomfortable, resulting in swelling and mild pain. If left untreated, they can lead to other illnesses, such as inflammation, leg ulcers, phlebitis, and more. We have assembled frequently asked questions about varicose veins and how we can help you get the treatment you need for them. When you’re ready, give us a call to schedule your appointment.
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are enlarged, rope-like veins, which are blood vessels. These swollen and raised veins can be dark purple, blue, or sometimes skin colored. Most people find them on the back of calves, inside of the legs, and thighs.
What causes varicose veins?
Varicose veins are caused by abnormal inner walls in the blood vessels. While blood is carried through the arteries through the veins, the vein’s valves work to prevent blood from backing up or pooling in areas it shouldn’t. This regulates which artery gets the right amount of blood, constantly working to keep you healthy. When one of the valves fails, the blood can pool up and flow backward. This causes the veins to enlarge and become varicose.
How to get rid of varicose veins?
There are many different treatments for varicose veins depending on the severity and the patient’s needs. Some self-care can include exercising, avoiding tight clothes, elevating your legs, avoiding long periods of standing or sitting, wearing compression stockings, and losing some extra weight. However, additional treatments may be needed for more severe varicose veins. These treatments include:
- Laser treatment
- Foam sclerotherapy
- High ligation and vein stripping
- Ambulatory phlebectomy
- Endoscopic vein surgery
Is vein treatment painful?
In most treatments, your doctor will apply a topical numbing agent to the injection sites prior to being treated. You may experience mild pain or discomfort. However, most patients compare it to a mosquito bite, and symptoms subside quickly.
Can varicose veins be prevented?
While there is no way to completely prevent varicose veins from happening, you can help reduce the risk of them becoming worse. Take time to treat the discomfort of your varicose veins by avoiding prolonged periods of time on your feet or sitting and staying to a healthy lifestyle with proper diet and exercise.
What are the signs and symptoms of varicose veins?
Symptoms vary from patient to patient. Most people note that they are unattractive and can become painful. Long stretches of sitting or standing can make symptoms worse. Here are some of the most common varicose vein symptoms:
- Weak legs
- Getting tired easily after standing
- Darkening of the skin
- Skin ulcers
- Legs feeling heavier
When should I see a vein care specialist?
Self-care options are great. But sometimes, your situation may require additional help. If you are concerned about your veins not getting better or getting worse with home remedies, schedule an appointment with us.
Are varicose veins and spider veins dangerous?
If left untreated, varicose and spider veins can lead to worse issues down the line. Calves and ankles can swell as your legs are not receiving the proper blood flow they need to stay healthy. While they are not usually dangerous, they can lead to complications such as skin ulcers, bleeding, and blood clots.