Varicose veins are abnormally gnarled or enlarged veins, visually apparent through the skin. They develop when the veins become damaged due to extended pressure on them or a condition that causes the blood vessel valves to properly function.
Veins serve an essential role in moving blood throughout the body. Valves help to push blood in the right direction, such as back to the heart from the legs. When varicose veins happen, the valves do not close completely, allowing blood to flow back into the veins of the leg, where it pools. This ends up causing enlarged, twisted, and discolored veins to appear. While varicose veins can develop in any body part, the most common place for them to develop are the legs and feet.
A common misconception about varicose veins is that it’s just a cosmetic condition. But the problem with varicose veins goes far beyond that. Varicose veins can cause significant pain and discomfort and, if left untreated, more serious problems.
There are indications that occur when varicose veins are beginning to develop. The first is noticeable discoloration on the skin, and the second is pain or discomfort. If you experience either of these, it may indicate that varicose veins are developing.
A discoloring that is evident on the skin is usually the first sign of varicose veins – and one that people often ignore. Because there is a misconception that varicose veins are only an aesthetic concern and don’t affect a person’s health, a lot of people end up not seeking medical attention until the condition worsens.
Here’s what you should look for:
- Veins that begin to appear dark blue or purple in color and are much more noticeable when compared to the rest of the veins in the body
- Veins that begin to bulge or twist (similar to tangled cords) and become much more visible than the rest of the veins in the body
The pain associated with varicose veins is sometimes misinterpreted by patients and doctors, which is why varicose veins should always be examined and treated by a vein specialist. This type of medical physician has the expertise necessary to recognize the earliest signs of varicose veins.
Here’s what you should pay attention to:
- Aching, heaviness, pain, or discomfort in the legs
- Itchy skin around specific parts of the body (where the veins are becoming varicose)
- Swelling or burning in the legs
- Frequent ulcers or sores on the legs
Know Your Family’s Medical History
Because varicose veins can be hereditary, if you have family members with the condition, you may be more likely to develop it in your lifetime. Keep an extra eye out for signs of varicose veins if this applies to you.
Varicose Veins May Indicate Another Problem
Varicose veins can also be a sign of a circulatory problem. If a person has an existing circulatory problem, they are more likely to develop varicose veins, as well. Circulation problems mean the blood is not flowing adequately throughout the body, which puts extra pressure on veins, which can damage them and cause the appearance of varicose veins.
When You Should See a Doctor
If you experience pain or discomfort in the legs, it’s not necessarily certain that you are developing varicose veins. Oftentimes, self-care can help alleviate mild symptoms. There are a ton of reasons for pain and discomfort in the legs, and one of the most common causes is simply an unhealthy lifestyle. Regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight and healthy eating habits can often address these symptoms. Additionally, elevating the legs, not wearing high heels and reducing the amount of time you stand can help, also.
However, if you see varicose veins or experience pain or discomfort, it’s time to get it checked out. Whether it’s varicose veins or another cause, isn’t it better to find the underlying cause for your symptoms rather than ignore them and let the issue get worse?
A great way to make sure you recognize and treat varicose veins in a fast and effective way is to have a vein specialist examine you. Premier Vein & Vascular has a wealth of knowledge and experience diagnosing and treating conditions like varicose veins. If you would like to have a reliable and high-quality vein clinic on your side, call Premier Vein & Vascular at 1-888-VEINCARE today to make an appointment.