WHAT ARE VARICOSE VEINS?
Varicose and spider veins are enlarged, dilated, and tortuous veins that are caused by weakness in the vein walls and incompetent vein valves. When the valves cease to function, the blood does not flow as effectively to the heart as it should but, rather, allowed to pool in the veins. This increases pressure in the vein and eventually causes the walls to “give out”. The vein will then increase in diameter and can not return to normal size or shape. This is somewhat like a balloon that has been blown up and can not return to it’s original size or shape.
Varicose and Spider veins are a common problem that affect millions of individuals with women being more likely affected than men. Several risk factors have been implicated in the development of this problem and include heredity, pregnancy, and hormone changes. Other factors may include trauma, weight gain, and prolonged periods of standing or sitting.
SYMPTOMS OF VARICOSE VEINS
The more common symptoms of varicose veins include aching, pain, tenderness, burning, itching, swelling of the legs, inflammation or redness, heaviness, and fatigue. Other symptoms may develop and vary widely in their presentation. Though some “authorities” consider spider veins to be purely cosmetic, they can cause discomfort as well as the potential for bleeding if they are too close to the surface of the skin.
COMPLICATIONS OF VARICOSE AND SPIDER VEINS
Varicose veins may lead to other, more serious medical problems if untreated. Some of the complications may include superficial thrombophlebitis (blood clots), bleeding (which may be quite severe), inflammation or discoloration of the skin, and ulceration.
HOW ARE VARICOSE AND SPIDER VEINS TREATED?
Varicose and spider veins can be a complex problem with a number of causative factors. A proper venous evaluation will be necessary to determine how your particular problem will be best treated.