It may feel like vanity to be distressed about the unsightly appearance of varicose veins. After all, those visible vessels are little more than a cosmetic nuisance, right? Actually, varicose veins can be a visible symptom of an underlying vein disorder – one that become worse over time if it is not addressed. By understanding that underlying condition, you will see why it may not be vain to dislike your veins after all!
The Role of Veins
Veins have the task of carrying blood back to the heart from every area of the body. Because the heart is not pumping blood through the veins as strongly as it does in the arteries, tiny valves inside the veins help to move the blood through in a single direction. The veins in the lower legs have an especially difficult job because they must push blood back up the body, against gravity and the body’s own weight, to move it back to the heart.
Venous Insufficiency 101
Because those valves in the lower leg veins have to work particularly hard, they are more prone to damage and failure. When the valves no longer work as efficiently, blood can reflux back into the vessel, causing weakening and swelling. This can lead to the development of a visible varicose vein over time. It can also lead to other symptoms and complications if the condition is left untreated.
Symptoms of Venous Insufficiency
You may notice that in addition to your unattractive varicose veins, you also begin to develop the following symptoms:
- Leg fatigue or heaviness, especially at the end of the day
- Cramping or aching legs that is relieved through elevation
- Restless leg syndrome (an irresistible need to constantly move the legs)
- Swelling of the lower leg, ankle and foot
- Skin irritation, burning or itching around the affected veins
- Changes to the skin’s color or texture
These symptoms indicated that venous insufficiency is present and that the condition is worsening. The earlier you schedule a vein assessment, the more effective your treatment will be in eliminating the visible veins and your uncomfortable symptoms.
If venous insufficiency is not treated in a timely fashion, further complications can develop. You may begin to suffer pain and discomfort to the point it interferes with your daily activities and impacts your overall quality of life. Some sufferers find they can no longer spend extended amounts of time on their feet or they are unable to participate in their regular exercise program any longer.
Skin changes can also grow more severe over time. You might notice the skin in the area of the varicose vein starts to turn red or brown. The skin may feel tight and a leathery texture may form on the surface. At this point, any small nick or cut in the skin can lead to a large, open sore known as a venous ulcer. Venous ulcers tend to have a high infection and recurrence rate, which makes them very difficult to treat.
The good news is you don’t have to wait until complications arise to treat your veins and their underlying condition. At the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin, we offer a wide range of treatments that involve little if any discomfort and downtime. Procedures are performed right in our office using local anesthesia and most patients are back to regular activities as soon as the treatment is over.
Don’t suffer with varicose veins thinking they are only vanity. Contact the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin at 800-910-8346 to learn about treatment options that can eliminate your unsightly veins and the condition that is causing them.