Varicose veins occur when weak or damaged valves within the veins cause blood to back up and pool. Typically occurring in the legs, varicose veins appear as bulging, bluish cords running beneath the skin. They can be painful and disfiguring.
Although there are a number of risk factors, one of the main influencers in the development of varicose veins is aging. As we age, the valves in our veins can become damaged, resulting in the blood pooling we see with varicose veins or spider veins.
Varicose veins are very common, and are often genetic. If your parents had them, there is a good chance that you may also develop them as you age. Fortunately, there are excellent treatment options. If you experience swelling, enlargement of the veins, discoloration or fatigue of the legs, schedule an appointment with a cardiologist for a simple screening test.
What Are Varicose Veins?
Varicose Veins and Spider Veins
Like varicose veins, spider veins are another common venous condition. Spider veins are small red or blue veins under the surface of the skin that commonly appear on the face and legs. Both of these conditions can be indicative of or lead to more serious conditions. Aside from an undesirable cosmetic appearance, frequent symptoms of venous disease include:
- Leg pain
- Leg fatigue
- Poor circulation
Venous disease is a vascular condition that ranges from mild to life-threatening. Veins are thin, hollow tubes that carry blood throughout the body. Inside the veins, valves ensure that blood flows in the right direction. If the vein walls or valves become damaged, blood flow can be interrupted, causing veins to stay filled with blood.
Risk factors for venous disease:
- Family history
- Female gender
- History of deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Sitting or standing for long periods of time
Symptoms of venous disease:
- Varicose veins
- Swelling in legs and/or ankles
- Itchy, painful legs
- Pain during walking that stops while at rest
- Brown-colored skin, particularly near the ankles
- Leg ulcers
Self-Care and Prevention
While the cause of venous disease isn’t always clear, there are simple lifestyle changes that you can make to reduce risk and prevent the condition from worsening, such as:
- Weight management
- Elevating legs
- Avoiding prolonged standing or sitting
- Wearing compression stockings
How Can You Treat Varicose Veins?
Specialist Treatment for Venous Disease
Should treatment become necessary, The Vein Center at Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists offers a full spectrum of diagnostic tests, and medical and cosmetic treatments for venous conditions. Our highly experienced vascular specialists, Dr. Baucum and Dr. Smith, focus on diagnosing underlying issues that might affect your cardiovascular system, and then provide appropriate treatment on a convenient outpatient basis.
If you are suffering from varicose veins or spider veins, The Vein Center at Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists can help. Schedule a consultation today by calling (318) 798-9400.