Varicose Veins: The Symptoms and Warning Signs

Varicose veins are larger-than-normal, gnarled veins most often in the legs, caused by a pooling of blood from valves within the veins not closing all the way. This can happen with any superficial vein but is most commonly found in the legs since standing and walking increases the pressure on your veins. Although for many people varicose veins are simply displeasing to look at, for others they can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. Varicose veins could even lead to some serious health problems. Here are the symptoms and signs of Varicose veins.

The Cause

Varicose veins can be brought on by a number of factors:

  • Family history
  • Gender and age – About 55% of women and 45% of men over 50 years old have venous disease.
  • Pregnancy – About 70-80% of pregnant women develop varicose veins in the first trimester and tend to worsen with each pregnancy. However, these can improve after birth.
  • Jobs and activity level – Standing a majority of the time OR sitting a majority of the time can increase the likelihood of varicose veins.
  • Gaining weight
  • Trauma

The Symptoms

When varicose veins become present, you may notice one or more of these symptoms:

  • Tired, heavy & achy leg(s)
  • Restless leg(s)
  • Burning & itching
  • Swelling of the leg(s) & feet, especially at night
  • Cramping of the leg(s) & feet
  • Discoloration of the skin at ankle(s) & leg(s)
  • Open sores or ulcers on the lower leg(s)

How to Prevent Varicose Veins

Since genetics and age play such a large role in varicose vein development, there is no way to fully prevent them. However, improving circulation and muscle tone can reduce your risk. You can do this through regular exercise, eating a high-fiber, low salt diet, keeping a healthy weight, avoiding high heels, and changing your standing or sitting position regularly. These measures can also be taken to reduce any discomfort that may come from existing varicose veins.

What Should I Do If I Have Varicose Veins?

If you notice varicose veins and are put off by their appearance, or if you’re experiencing discomfort that they may be causing, Summit Skin and Vein Care has three treatment options that have proven effective in many individuals.

Sclerotherapy – This is the most common treatment options for small varicose and spider veins. It’s very safe and effective! Medication is injected into the veins which causes them to collapse and then become reabsorbed into the body so they are no longer visible at the skin’s surface.

Endovenous Laser Treatment (CTEV™) – This is a non-surgical treatment option to varicose vein closure. This uses a small laser fiber that is inserted into the vein through a needle stick. The fiber will deliver pulses of light into the vein to seal the collapsed vein shut.

Laser Vein Therapy – Nd:YAG™– This option includes no cuts or needles as it uses a small beam of laser light through the skin and is then absorbed by the blood in the vein. This will cause the vein to slowly fade and disappear from the skin’s surface.

Schedule your appointment today to find relief from your varicose veins! 

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