Swollen or twisted veins, often greenish or purple in appearance, maybe messing up your dressing habits in the summer months. Although your concern would probably involve the way these twisted veins look, the underlying issue could be much intense. Having varicose veins is not uncommon. Approximately 30% of the people, at some point in their lives, experience such conditions.
Although you might not be experiencing any discomfiture presently, there are times when varicose veins call for attention. Here, we have covered everything you would want to know about varicose veins, what causes them, when to see a doctor, and how to treat them.
What are varicose veins and what causes them?
Varicose veins refer to the ugly, twisted clusters of bulging veins that mostly appear on your legs. They consist of abnormal blood vessels. If left untreated, these can lead to other complications in the future. They appear in both men and women.
You may develop varicose veins due to the malfunctioning of valves in your veins. These valves are responsible for carrying blood in the reverse direction to your heart. As a result, inflammation and swelling occur. The abnormal flow of blood makes these veins more dilated.
Chances of developing varicose veins are high, particularly if you:
- Are overweight
- Have a family record of varicose veins
- Are experiencing pregnancy or menopause
- Spend a lot of time standing
- Have undergone therapy for hormone replacement
- Use birth control pills
At times, this can make your legs feel itchy, tired, or heavy. Particularly, people who walk a lot can be in a state of bother. However, this can lead to serious health issues under certain circumstances.
When should you see a doctor?
In some individuals, varicose veins are quite normal. They do not cause any potential health risks usually. However, there are times when it might pose a health concern. Visit a vein clinic in New York if you experience these symptoms.
- Continuous and severe pain in your feet or leg
- Frequent dull aches or heaviness in your legs
- Swelling of your feet, ankles, or legs
- A warm sensation in the affected area
- Pain and redness in your leg
- Slight injury leading to spontaneous bleeding
- Inflammation and itching of the skin around the area
- Skin wounds and ulcers
While you might never notice an instant concern, varicose veins develop issues over time. They might take years to turn into complex health issues. With consistent screenings, you can mitigate the associated risks.
What can happen if you leave your veins untreated?
Untreated varicose veins may worsen the condition of your legs. Over time, you may develop the following complications.
Swelling often leads to stretched tissues. As a result, it compromises the natural defense of the body against infection. The bacteria on your skin can enter the body, leading to cellulitis. As the swelling continues to increase, the area would become warm and red. Under these conditions, you would need medication. Treating the swelling would cure the infection.
Even when you have minor injuries on your skin, it will take time to heal. The reason is, adequate oxygen and nutrients fail to reach the area. Over time, you might develop permanent ulcers due to varicose veins. With proper treatment, you can reduce the swelling to get rid of these.
Varicose veins carry more blood than ordinary conditions. These swollen veins are present right under the skin surface. A slight pressure, cut, or hit can lead to significant bleeding. Besides, you might experience distinct bruising even if the skin doesn’t break. Besides, the bleeding would take more time than normal to stop.
Varicose veins are more likely to develop blood clots. This is evident in almost 3% of individuals having varicose veins. The area becomes painful and sensitive to touch. Besides, the vein would gradually become hard. This can eventually lead to thrombophlebitis.
Deep vein thrombosis
Mostly, the blood clots take place in the deeper veins in people having varicose veins. In case this leads to deep vein thrombosis, you would need immediate medical attention. This is a medical condition where your legs would become painful, red, and swollen. It can ultimately lead to pulmonary embolism. Under this condition, the blood clot may break and travel towards your lungs.
Severe swelling in your legs may prevent you from putting on your shoes. Besides, your skin might leak a yellowish fluid. When these symptoms persist, it can lead to a change or hardening of the skin. Medical practitioners often recommend compression stockings and leg elevation exercises to normalize the condition.
If you have varicose veins, make sure to visit a vein clinic in New York. With timely treatment, you can prevent the condition from aggravating.
Lifestyle changes to cure varicose veins
If you have varicose veins, here are some tips for you.
- Do not stand continually for long hours
- Try to improve your circulation through exercises
- Maintain proper weight and fight obesity
- Use stockings or compression socks
- Keep your legs elevated while sleeping or resting
Different treatments for varicose veins
Presently, a wide range of low-invasive options is available for treating varicose veins. Some of these are:
This process involves the use of light energy, which blocks a vein.
Here, the injection blocks the smaller veins off.
This is a foam or liquid chemical injection, that blocks a larger vein.
Endovenous ablation therapy
Here, surgeons use radiofrequency waves and heat for blocking a vein.
Endoscopic vein surgery
Under this process, surgeons insert a small lighted scope to block a vein.
This process involves making a chain of small incisions on the skin to eliminate the affected veins physically
These are a few things you must know about varicose veins. These veins are usually not a matter of worry. But, if your varicose veins are troubling you, it is time to consult a doctor. Intense pain, warmth, and sensitivity to touch are the warning signs of thrombosis. Rather than ignoring the issue, seek medical assistance at the earliest. This can save you from expensive treatments and pain in later years.