Varicose veins are veins that appear right under the surface of the skin that are larger than normal. They may appear because of heredity, prolonged standing, being overweight or simply from pregnancy. Sometimes they can alert you of a more serious problem with your health, too. Here are some key facts about varicose veins and what you can do about them.
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are usually located on your legs but can be anywhere on the body. They are veins that have become enlarged and are visible through the surface of the skin. They appear because the valves and veins in your legs become weak. Because of this, the blood flow from the legs becomes slower, so pressure forms in your legs. They can lead to ulcers, problems with thickening skin, swelling in the legs and even eczema. Varicose veins are usually just a cosmetic issue, but unfortunately, they can be painful as well.
What are the symptoms of varicose veins?
There are many different signs that you have varicose veins. Some of these symptoms include:
- Swelling in the feet and ankles later in the day
- Aching at night or after exercise
- Spider veins (smaller web-like veins seen through the skin)
- Yellowed skin around the varicose veins
- Dry, itchy, red skin around the varicose veins
- Extended healing time and extensive bleeding for minor injuries in the area of the varicose veins
- Scar-like tissue appearing on the ankles
- Restless legs syndrome
What are the causes of varicose veins?
There are several different common ways that you can develop varicose veins. They may be something that is passed down in your family. You may have been born with weak vein walls or defective valves. You can also develop these problems later in life. Usually varicose veins happen in women more so than men, but men can also develop them as well.
Varicose veins can develop during a pregnancy. After pregnancy, they can get worse or completely go away. When you are overweight, you have a higher chance of developing them. Prolonged standing can cause varicose veins, so taking breaks from work is important. Varicose veins can also be a sign that there is something else wrong, such as a blockage in the deep veins or a blood clot. You may also have abnormal blood vessels that develop later in life. They can also be an indication of a tumor.
What can you do about varicose veins?
When you find that you are suffering from varicose veins, you should visit a varicose veins doctor. This may be your family doctor, your internist, or your general practitioner. They will be able to properly diagnose your varicose veins, treat them and monitor them during treatment. Some possible minor and non-evasive procedures could be performed by a surgeon, dermatologist or a plastic surgeon as well. For more information, contact a business such as Elite Vein Centers.