Women and Varicose Veins

December 15, 2016

Women and Varicose Veins

Women and Varicose VeinsVaricose veins plague both men and women, but women seem to suffer from these swollen vessels much more frequently. There are a number of reasons why women are more vulnerable to varicose veins than men overall. The good news is that if you do experience a few varicose veins over time, there are plenty of effective treatment options to eradicate the unsightly vessels and uncomfortable symptoms that often accompany them.

What causes varicose veins?

Most varicose veins are actually a visible sign of a vein disorder known as venous insufficiency. This condition develops when veins stop working properly, allowing blood to reflux back in the vessel rather than moving in a single direction back to the heart. The extra blood in the vein leads to weakening and swelling of the vessel. Eventually, a varicose vein appears on the surface of the skin.

Venous insufficiency does not go away or improve on its own. Like any medical condition, this disorder must be properly treated to ensure the disorder is sufficiently addressed and no further complications arise. Venous insufficiency tends to occur more often in women than men for a number of reasons. Understanding risk factors will help you to understand why the female population is more prone to this disorder.

Risk Factors

There are a number of reasons why some people are more prone to venous insufficiency than others:

  • Genetics – when your parents have varicose veins, you risk increases significantly
  • Age – the condition is more common in adults over the age of 50
  • Weight – added pounds tend to put more pressure on those lower leg veins
  • Lack of Exercise – flexing of the calf muscle helps move blood back up the body
  • Occupation – If your work requires long periods of sitting or standing, your risk may be higher

There are also risk factors that are common to women, which makes this disorder more prevalent among the female population.

The Female Factor

The American College of Phlebology estimates that as many as half of all women suffer the cosmetic embarrassment of varicose veins and many also experience uncomfortable physical symptoms associated with venous insufficiency. That is four times more women than men that experience these conditions. One of the primary reasons women are more vulnerable is estrogen, a hormone in the female body that tends to relax vein walls.

This function is important during pregnancy to accommodate the increased blood flow in a woman’s body during those nine months. In addition to the hormonal factor, the increasing size of the uterus during pregnancy stresses a woman’s hard-working lower leg veins, making them more vulnerable to damage. This is why many women see varicose veins form during pregnancy. In some cases, the veins disappear after the baby arrives, but other women see those bulging vessels linger long after their pregnancy.

Women may also have a higher risk for varicose veins if they tend to wear high heels frequently. This type of shoe prevents the calf muscle from flexing properly when you walk. Since the flexed calf muscle helps to push blood through the lower leg veins, when it doesn’t work properly, the veins have to work that much harder. This can also make them more prone to damage and varicosity.

Treatment Options

Fortunately, women have a number of treatment options for varicose veins available at the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin. We offer state-of-the-art procedures to eliminate swollen veins and their uncomfortable symptoms with minimal discomfort and downtime involved. To learn more, contact the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin today at 800-910-8346.

What’s the Relationship between Spider and Varicose Veins?

November 18, 2016

between-spider-and-varicose-veinsSpider and varicose veins have one distinctly common characteristic – they can be unsightly enough to cause significant embarrassment. In addition to their cosmetic concern, do these visible veins share any common factors? The answer to that question depends on where the veins are located and what underlying cause might be contributing to their appearance.



What are Spider Veins?

Spider veins are visible vessels that frequently appear on the legs. However, these veins can also appear on the arms, face and abdomen. The networks of red, blue or purple of lines can often resemble a spider’s vein, which is where they get their name. There are a variety of factors that might contribute to the formation of spider veins:

  • Excessive exposure to UV rays
  • Trauma to the skin
  • Hormonal fluctuations
  • Some medications or medical conditions
  • Weight gain or a sedentary lifestyle
  • Family history of spider veins

These veins are not typically accompanied by physical symptoms. However, some patients with spider veins do experience the following side effects:

  • Pain or heaviness in the legs, especially at the end of the day
  • Swelling of the lower leg, ankle and foot
  • Cramping or restless legs when you try to rest at night
  • Fatigue in the legs after long periods of standing or sitting

What are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are usually larger than spider veins and typically appear on the lower legs. These veins may also be discolored and may actually protrude above the surface of the skin. In some cases, they resemble flesh-colored, ropey vines that twist up the lower legs.

In addition to their unsightly appearance, varicose veins can cause similar symptoms to those listed above. Left untreated, they can also lead to discoloration of the skin and the formation of open sores around the ankles. Known as venous ulcers, these sores can become quite large and difficult to treat.

The Primary Cause of Varicose Veins

While spider veins can have a number of causes, varicose veins are most frequently the visible result of an underlying vein condition known as chronic venous insufficiency. This condition occurs when tiny valves inside the veins that are responsible for keeping blood flowing in a single direction stop working properly. This allows blood to reflux back into the veins, leading to swelling and varicosity.

The Role of Spider Veins

When spider veins appear near varicose veins, or are accompanied by the same symptoms, they can be a product of venous insufficiency as well. When this is the case, both spider and varicose veins are likely to get worse, rather than better, if they are left untreated. The good news is there are effective treatments for both spider and varicose veins that will address the underlying condition to eliminate both the appearance of the veins and their uncomfortable symptoms.

Seeking Treatment for Visible Veins

At the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin, we offer treatment options for both spider and varicose veins. We can tailor our treatment options to your specific condition and concerns to ensure the best possible results from your procedure. All of our treatments are minimally-invasive, which means you can return home the same day as your procedure and usually resume your regular schedule the same day or the next day.

Don’t suffer the embarrassment or physical discomfort of spider or varicose veins any longer. We can help you eliminate the appearance of your veins and their painful symptoms. Contact the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin today at 800-910-8346.

3 Myths About Varicose Veins

August 1, 2016

Varicose veins are a common problem that affects as many as half of all adults over the age of 50. Despite their prevalence, not everyone that suffers with these bulging vessels understands what the condition is all about. To help you separate the fact from the fiction, check out these three common myths about varicose veins and the truth behind them.

Myth #1: Varicose veins are nothing but ugly, swollen vessels.

While it may be true that varicose veins are unsightly, they are also a visible symptom of an underlying vein condition. Varicose veins often occur as a result of a disorder known as chronic venous insufficiency or CVI. This condition develops when tiny valves inside the veins stop working properly, allowing blood to reflux and pool inside the vessel. The results is a weakened, swollen vein that becomes varicose over time.

When CVI is the reason behind your varicose veins, it is also important to know that the condition can worsen if it is left unchecked. You might begin to develop symptoms along with your varicose veins, such as pain and swelling of the lower leg. Skin changes can also occur, due to the increased pressure inside the veins. If the condition is not treated, you may find some of those skin changes, including discoloration and thickening, may become permanent.

Myth #2: Only little old ladies get varicose veins.

When you think about varicose veins, does your grandmother come to your mind? While those swollen vessels are a common bane to the senior female set, this group is certainly not the only one to struggle with this condition. In fact, varicose veins can happen to anyone. Some of the factors that might increase your risk for varicose veins include:

  • Family history of varicose veins
  • Family or personal history of blood-clotting disorders
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Significant weight gain
  • Long periods of sitting (such as on a plane) or standing
  • Pregnancy
  • Leg trauma that caused damage to the veins

If you have any of these risk factors, the best approach is to take preventative steps as soon as possible. If you are sedentary or have gained weight, develop a daily exercise plan that will get the muscles moving and the veins working more efficiently. If your job requires long periods of sitting or standing, make sure to take regular breaks to exercise the legs and get the blood pumping. You can also talk to your doctor about whether compression stockings – special socks that promote healthy blood flow in the lower legs – might be a good choice for you.

Myth #3: There is nothing you can do about your varicose veins.

Despite their unattractive appearance and even their discomfort, many varicose vein sufferers are resigned to the fact they will have to live with their bulging vessels forever. This could not be further from the truth. Today, there are many minimally-invasive vein treatments that effectively eliminate varicose veins and their painful symptoms.

At the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin, we offer a variety of vein treatments that allow us to tailor your procedure to your specific condition. Choice of treatment often depends on the size of the varicose veins and their location. With state-of-the-art technology and tried-and-true treatment options, we can help you get rid of those uncomfortable veins without putting a major crimp in your daily routine.

Varicose veins are not something you simply must suffer with. Contact the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin today at 800-910-8346 to find out which vein treatment is the right one for you.

Why Varicose Veins are More than a Cosmetic Issue

August 14, 2015

Varicose Vein Treatment Center Florida

Varicose veins are bulging, twisting lines that usually appear on the lower legs. There is no doubt these veins can become quite unsightly, making some sufferers self-conscious about appearing in public in shorts or bathing suits. However, the problems with varicose veins can go much deeper than their cosmetic appearance for some individuals, requiring treatment to not only eliminate their look, but uncomfortable symptoms and potential complications as well.

Symptoms of Varicose Veins

Some varicose vein sufferers will find the discomfort of their veins moves beyond embarrassment over their appearance. Symptoms can appear over time, which might include any or all of the following:

  • Leg heaviness or fatigue, particularly at the end of the day
  • Aching or swelling of the lower legs, ankles and feet
  • Cramping or restless legs at night when you lie down to sleep
  • Throbbing or aching pain during or after activity
  • Itching or irritation of the skin around the affected vein
  • Changes to skin color or texture around the affected vein

The Underlying Cause

To understand the reason behind the symptoms, you need to know about the most common underlying cause of varicose veins. Venous insufficiency is a condition that affects the tiny valves inside the veins that are responsible for keeping blood flowing in a single direction to the heart. Over time, these valves can become damaged or wear out, which leads to blood pooling inside of the vessels.

The problem tends to be most pronounced in the vessels of the lower legs, because these veins have the challenging task of moving blood against gravity and the body’s own weight to pump it back up to the heart. When blood pools in the lower extremities, it can lead to swelling of the vessels and the appearance of varicose veins. It can also lead to many of the uncomfortable symptoms listed above.

Possible Complications

Venous insufficiency is a condition that can grow worse over time if it is left unchecked. Complications of venous insufficiency might include a higher risk of blood clot formation in the vessels of the lower leg. A painful condition known as phlebitis or inflammation of the vessel can also develop. Some sufferers might see significant skin changes that lead to the formation of painful open sores around the ankle. Known as venous ulcers, these chronic wounds can be very difficult to treat.

Fortunately, symptoms can be relieved and complications can be prevented through a variety of treatment options today. At Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin, we offer minimally-invasive procedures that eliminate unsightly, uncomfortable veins without a major disruption to your daily schedule. To learn more about your treatment options, contact the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin at 800-910-VEIN.