It’s hard to deny that varicose veins can be painful and unsightly. But can they be dangerous to your health? If you think the best way to deal with varicose veins is to hide them under socks or slacks, then it’s probably time you see a vascular expert and get a second opinion. That’s because, while varicose veins aren’t necessarily dangerous, they can be indicative of deeper problems that can be. Here’s more about varicose veins.
Blood vessels have valves that are designed to allow the blood to flow throughout the body. Should a valve prevent the blood from flowing properly, the blood may start to pool, causing the vein to look gnarled, discolored and lumpy. While similar to varicose veins, spider veins are much smaller in diameter and don’t appear as dramatic through the skin as a varicose vein. Nonetheless, their cause – and treatments – are similar.
Over time, you may notice your varicose veins getting worse, with pain increasing after long periods of inactivity such as sitting or standing. Itching may occur around one or more of the affected veins, and skin can start to become discolored. For some, a burning, throbbing, achy sensation often is accompanied by muscle cramping or swelling in the lower legs. In many cases, vascular doctors will recommend wearing compression hose and elevating legs periodically throughout the day to relieve stress. Should the veins require more invasive treatment, vascular doctors can employ minimally invasive techniques like ablation and microphlebectomy or sclerotherapy for long-lasting results.
With varicose veins, the failure of the pooled blood to drain properly can cause venous stasis ulcers or open sores. In many cases, these ulcers are extremely difficult to heal and require constant medical attention. A skin infection called cellulitis can also occur when swelling impacts the body’s ability to fight off infection. Worst-case, varicose veins can lead to thrombophlebitis – a condition by which the varicosed veins become painful and warm to the touch; or deep vein thrombosis, which can cause a life-threatening pulmonary embolism should the blood clot break away and move to the lungs.
Because diabetics already suffer from poor circulation, varicose veins make it even more difficult for a body to receive the oxygen-rich blood it needs to function and thrive. Diabetics living with varicose veins are at an even higher risk of developing ulcers and open sores on their feet, as well as losing limbs due to infection.
If you have varicose veins, there is no benefit to ignoring them, especially when treatment can be easy and convenient. And remember – when it comes to your cardiovascular care, not all symptoms appear on the surface. Your varicose veins may be a sign of other health concerns that require immediate attention and proven expertise. In Tampa and Largo Premier Vein & Vascular excels in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of varicose veins and other vascular conditions – from stroke, chronic venous insufficiency and deep vein thrombosis to poor circulation. Why risk your health? Call Premier Vein & Vascular today at (888) VEINCARE or request an appointment online for optimal vein health. We also offer MediSpa services, including Body Sculpting with truSculpt to achieve your best you.