Thursday, June 21, 2018

Varicose veins: health concern or cosmetic issue or both?

Summer is finally here, making it the perfect weather for keeping cool by wearing shorts and splashing around in pools—at least, that is, for some people.

Are you keeping your legs covered up because of unsightly veins protruding visibly from the surface of your legs or feet?

If so, you’re not alone. Vein issues occur more frequently than you might expect.

Atypically large, swollen, and bulging veins—known as varicose veins—are quite common, yet often the condition goes undiagnosed.

woman with varicose veins at the park
Experts at the American College of Phlebology estimate that over 40 million people in the United States suffer from chronic vein disorders, including varicose veins and the mild variation known as spider veins, which are typically smaller, lighter, and thinner.

Advanced age is most often associated with vein condition, but even people in their 20s can show signs and symptoms of venous disease and some women develop them during pregnancy because of hormone changes and the increased amount of blood in the body.

Frustrating symptoms of vein disease include:
  • Visible or bulging veins
  • Aching, heavy feeling
  • Itching and swelling
  • Throbbing, pulsating, and muscle cramps
  • Pain after sitting or standing for a long period of time
  • Restless legs
  • Skin darkening, or hyperpigmentation

Vein disease treatment options

You can tell a lot about someone’s health by looking at their legs. When reddish-, greenish, or bluish-colored veins wind down your legs, it’s because of valve defects that are preventing your blood from flowing backward. For some patients, their varicose veins cause throbbing, heaviness, and soreness, and for others they are just a cosmetic concern.

Exercise, compression stockings, and elevation are all options to help lessen the pain of varicose veins and keep the condition from getting worse, but since venous disease is a chronic and progressive condition, it won’t go away on its own.

Is it time to see a vein specialist?

Even if your varicose veins pose only an aesthetic issue right now, it’s worth talking to your provider about how to minimize risk factors and prevent more serious health problems in the future related to blood circulation, such as blood clots, infections, difficult-to-heal ulcers, and bleeding from ruptured veins.

Without treatment, your varicose veins will worsen and may start to include painful or uncomfortable symptoms and cause health issues that impact your quality of life and keep you from typical day-to-day activities.

Even though prevention—as with most conditions—is the best treatment, it’s never too late to start paying attention early to your leg health if you’re already seeing the signs of varicose veins.

If you’re unsure how to deal with your venous disease and want healthy and attractive legs again, consult the surgeons at Logansport Memorial Hospital and participate in one of our free ultrasound screenings for an accurate diagnosis of potential vein issues.

Our team can provide a thorough evaluation and walk you through your options, including minimally invasive non-surgical treatment options for both varicose veins and spider veins.

Don’t wait until your vein condition becomes more severe. We can help.

With proper medical attention, your doctor can assess if your venous disease is related to additional—and potentially more severe—underlying circulation issues. Make an appointment today.

request a vein program consultation

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