Varicose veins are those knotted, bulging veins that are visible under the surface of your skin, usually on your lower legs. About 25 percent of men and two out of five women have varicose veins. Since they are so common, you may think they are something you cannot fix, and that you need to just learn to live with.

However, a vein doctor can help you get rid of varicose veins. With all of the varicose vein treatment options available today, there is a good chance you can get results without an invasive procedure. Asking yourself the following questions can help you decide whether it is time to get vein treatment at a vein center.

Do you have risk factors for venous insufficiency?

Varicose veins result from venous insufficiency, when your veins do not pump up the blood back to your heart properly. This allows blood to pool in your lower legs and form varicose veins. You might want to consult with vascular surgeons if you have risk factors for venous insufficiency. These include being an older adult, especially a woman, being obese, having a family or personal history of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), or being particularly tall.

Have you tried to get rid of varicose veins yourself?

Before undergoing medical treatment, vein doctors may recommend you try lifestyle changes to address varicose veins. You can try losing extra pounds if you have them, and exercise more regularly if you are not usually active. Other strategies are to avoid sitting and standing still for too long at once, and to wear compression stockings to help push blood back to your heart. If these remedies are not successful, you may need to see a vein doctor.

Are your varicose veins interfering with everyday life?

You need to talk to a vein doctor if your varicose veins are causing leg swelling and pain, or making you itch or feel a burning sensation. Even if you are not in great discomfort, you might want to get varicose vein treatment if you feel self-conscious about wearing shorts or skirts that show your lower legs in public.

Does your insurance company think it’s time?

Going to a vein doctor may actually be covered under your health insurance plan if your condition is deemed medically significant. If your varicose veins are causing severe symptoms or a doctor determines you to be at risk for leg ulcers or blood clots, you may be able to get your varicose vein treatment covered by insurance. Contact a vein center to find out how you can get the coverage you are entitled to.

If it is time to go to a vein doctor, choose one with a good reputation. Ask your regular doctor or cardiologist for a recommendation, or find out from your friends or family members whether they have any experience in this area. Then, make an appointment for an initial consultation so you can find out the best varicose vein treatment for your situation.