Varicose veins are knotted, bulging veins that are not only visible through the skin, but also quite painful! The common belief is that people only have them removed because they are unsightly, but actually, there are usually other, more serious symptoms that could need attention.
Why do we get varicose veins? Faulty valves in your veins are the root of the problem. If a valve is not working as it should, it could be allowing blood to flow the wrong way through certain veins; the blood then collects and causes the veins to knot and bulge.
Visiting a doctor might not be your favorite thing on your list of to-do’s, but if you think you have developed varicose veins you should probably book an appointment to put your mind at ease.
Should You Visit Your Vein Doctor?
There are various reasons why you might get varicose veins; pregnancy, old age, and working a job that requires you to be on your feet a lot are often blamed. It’s also possible that you’ve inherited them; they can be passed down through the family. In extremely rare cases, chronic constipation and tumors have been found as a cause. One widely believed cause is sitting with crossed legs. This doesn’t actually cause varicose veins, but it could however provoke an already existing condition.
So what are the symptoms to look out for?
Some of the milder symptoms that develop once varicose veins begin to develop can be the following:
- Itching of the skin around veins
- Aching, burning or a heaviness in your legs. This discomfort could worsen if you stand or sit for extended periods of time
- Swelling of the feet and ankles
It can be easy to disregard these symptoms as irritations that will quickly pass. However, if they develop into any of the following then it is very important to consult your doctor:
- Changes in the skin (things like scaling, changes in color, or dry and thinning skin)
- Swelling of the leg
- Pain in the calf after sitting or standing for large chunks of time.
- Bleeding after minor injuries to the legs.
It’s important you don’t ignore these more serious indications of varicose veins. If they go untreated then the condition could worsen and lead to ulcers or even dangerous blood clots.
How Your Doctor Will Help
While lifestyle changes might ease any irritation or pain, your doctor will be able to provide treatment that could close the veins or remove them for good.
- Sclerotherapy – This method injects a liquid chemical into the veins to close off the valves. The chemical works by scaring the valve, which eventually forces it to close. It’s a simple procedure that is often carried out on smaller veins by your own doctor. It can take several treatments for the veins to close completely. A similar procedure, Microsclerotherapy, is used to treat spider veins.
- Laser treatment – Another treatment that closes up veins, laser therapy can either be applied to small spider veins that are close to the skin, or, for deeper ones, a fiber is inserted inside the vein and it is closed by laser ablation.
- Radiofrequency treatment – For particularly large or deep varicose veins, radiofrequency energy is used rather than laser energy.
- Phlebectomy – This treatment is more invasive than the previous two. It’s still only a simple method though; the skin is punctured in several places to allow the vein to be removed.
Generally, how you are treated for your condition will depend on the size of your varicose veins. Larger cases are usually taken out through either a phlebectomy or litigation and stripping, while smaller incidents are dealt with by using sclerotherapy, laser or radiofrequency treatment.
Even if your varicose veins may appear to a minor issue, you should still consult your doctor as they could easily lead to further complications. If your veins aren’t causing you too much grievance, you may still be able to have them treated for cosmetic purposes. At the end of the day, your doctor is there to help so it’s always wise to book an appointment with them no matter how small you think an issue may be!
Give Dr. Moore a call today and ask about our free consultation!