Chronic venous insufficiency is a common underlying cause of varicose veins. This condition is characterized by increased pressure and poor circulation in the area of the visible vein, which can lead to a host of uncomfortable symptoms and potential complications. Understanding the signs of venous insufficiency can be the first step in recognizing the disease so you can seek treatment for the condition and its painful symptoms.
What Causes Venous Insufficiency?
Veins throughout the body are responsible for carrying blood back to the heart. Tiny valves inside the vessels keep blood flowing in the same direction, but these valves can start to wear out or become damaged over time. This is particularly true of the veins in the lower legs, which have to work against gravity and the body’s own weight to move blood back up to the heart. When the valves wear out, blood can pool inside the vessels, leading to swelling of the veins and varicosity.
Venous Insufficiency Symptoms
When venous insufficiency occurs, blood cannot flow as freely through the vessels and pressure increases inside the veins. This can lead to noticeable symptoms beyond the appearance of spider and varicose veins. Some of those symptoms might include:
Pain or swelling in the lower legs and feet
Heaviness or fatigue in the legs, especially at the end of the day
Restless leg syndrome and leg cramps
Discomfort after long periods of walking or standing
Itching or skin irritation around the affected vein
Skin thickening or color changes
Venous Insufficiency Complications
If venous insufficiency is left untreated, serious complications can develop. Skin changes can worsen and become permanent, even if the vein condition is eventually treated. Those skin changes, a result of reduced blood flow in the area, can also lead to the formation of open sores around the foot and ankle. Known as venous ulcers, these sores can become quite large and very difficult to treat. It often takes months of specialized care to get rid of these sores completely.
The good news is venous insufficiency is a very treatable condition, and the treatments used to address this disease are also effective in eliminating unsightly and uncomfortable varicose veins. At The Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin, we offer the latest therapies for treating venous insufficiency and varicose veins with minimal discomfort and downtime. Procedures are highly effective and can be customized to your specific needs. To learn more about your treatment options, contact The Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin at 800-910-VEIN.