Also known as varicosities, varicose veins are bulging, swollen, enlarged, or twisted veins that usually appear under or on the surface of the skin. They are red or a bluish-purple color and found in the lower legs around the ankles and behind the knees. Yet, any veins can become varicose.
Varicose veins are a common condition that affects 30% of adults at some point in their lives. For some, these veins can result in pain, swelling, itching, skin changes, and more. While people often notice them initially for their cosmetic appearance, many people don’t know that varicose veins are also an indication of an underlying medical condition known as venous insufficiency which contributes to poor circulation in the legs and requires medical treatment to resolve.
Often, varicose veins may develop from standing, walking, or other factors that put stress on the legs. We have one-way valves in our veins that help our blood flow toward our hearts. Should these veins become weakened, damaged, or leak in the wrong direction, blood can get backed up in our veins and pool causing the veins to swell, which results in varicose veins.
Varicose veins are also hereditary, so if you have a family history of varicosities, it is more than likely that you will also get them.
Other risk factors include age, obesity, hormonal changes/hormone replacement therapy, history of blood clots in the legs, sun exposure, pregnancy, using birth control, menopause, having defective valves, surgery, prior injury, trauma, or lifestyle/occupation with limited mobility or muscle movement.
While many patients come to us for cosmetic reasons, they are a sign of an underlying diagnosis of venous insufficiency. If left untreated, health problems can occur as a result of ongoing poor circulation. Treatment can help patients get relief from the following symptoms:
Symptoms worsen over time, so it is best to get treatment as soon as possible to avoid longer term health complications. In severe cases, ulcers can form when the veins start to bleed or other serious health issues can develop.
To get temporary relief, moderate exercise is recommended, such as running, cycling, or swimming at least 4 or 5 times a week. Also, it is helpful to stay fit and healthy with a 25 or less mass body index. During the day you can try wearing a compression hose as this can help improve blood flow. Thus, keeping your legs elevated is another way to help improve blood flow. Experts suggest the best way of controlling varicose veins is by staying active. While you can alleviate symptoms, varicose veins do not resolve on their own without treatment.
Although minimally invasive, vein treatment is still a medical procedure. As such there are certain steps you will need to go through before you can receive it.
At Metro Vein Centers our vein doctors work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan. We use cutting-edge diagnostic and treatment techniques for vein disease at our specialized vein clinics that involve laser treatments (known as endovenous laser ablation, or EVLA), microfoam treatments such as ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy or Varithena, and radiofrequency treatments (known as radiofrequency ablation, or RFA).
The first step is to speak with a vein specialist who can evaluate your legs and recommend the appropriate treatment options for your unique needs.
Metro Vein Centers is a national leader in the treatment of varicose and spider veins with vein treatment clinics in New York, New Jersey, and Michigan.
Call us today. We’re excited to help you take the first step towards healthy legs.