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.
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.