You won’t ever have to wonder if you have varicose veins – if you have them, you’ll know. These enlarged, ropy veins bulge from the surface of the skin, sometimes to an alarming degree, and they are generally found on the legs. While they aren’t necessarily harmful to your health, they can definitely impact your wardrobe choices if you feel self-conscious about showing off gams that look like they have snakes crawling up them. That said, understanding what causes varicose veins, knowing what symptoms to watch for, and realizing that there are treatment options available could certainly help you to deal with any problems that arise. Here’s the skinny on varicose veins.
There are several potential causes for varicose veins, but you should probably know up front that some of them cannot be changed. For example, these unattractive enlargements often run in families, so if your mom has them, you’re much more likely to get them, as well. They also tend to pop up as we get older, and sadly, no one has yet discovered how to put the kibosh on aging. But these things don’t necessarily cause varicose veins in and of themselves. What really leads to swollen and distended veins in your legs and ankles are faulty valves that allow blood to build up in your veins (rather than making sure that the blood flows only one way – back to your heart). As a result, the veins swell, filling with blood and bulging out.
The symptoms of this disorder, aside from the unsightly veins themselves, could include itching, burning, pain, and swelling in your legs and ankles, but you might not have any of these symptoms. Or you could experience more severe symptoms like pain and swelling when you sit or stand for too long, as well as skin-related issues, including dryness, flaking, thinning skin, or even excess bleeding and/or open sores when you have cuts and scratches. In most cases, the symptoms are not serious enough to demand medical treatment, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t talk to your doctor about options that could help to slow the progression of varicose veins, prevent new ones from forming, and even eliminate the ones you have.
If you currently suffer from varicose veins or they tend to run in your family, you can start out by trying at-home varicose vein treatment options. Long periods of sitting or standing are the worst culprit when it comes to the formation of varicose veins, so if you can avoid them, you’ll be better off. If you don’t have a choice due to your type of work or other physical conditions, think about wearing compression stockings to improve blood flow and ensure that your veins don’t have to work so hard. You can also prop your legs up whenever possible, and make sure to enjoy plenty of exercise and maintain a healthy weight.
Once you’ve got varicose veins, they’re not going away on their own. But there are treatment options to help you get rid of them. Sclerotherapy is the most widely used option, and this methodology relies on an injection that causes the vein to collapse and recede. You can also try laser therapy to close off the vein or undergo surgical procedures to tie off or even remove sections of your veins that are no longer functioning properly. Simply talk to your primary care physician about options or visit a reputable specialist at the Premier Vein Institute. You don’t have to live with varicose veins. With preventive measures and treatment options, you can have the lovely legs you want for years to come.