Whether or not your varicose veins cause discomfort, it is important to know if you have them or not. Signs you might have varicose veins include:
Your veins are dark purple or blue in color
The veins appear twisted and bulging—they almost look like rope or a chord
Your legs feel heavy or achy frequently
You experience frequent burning, throbbing, cramping or swelling in your lower legs
Your discomfort increases after sitting or standing still for a long time
The areas around your vein itch
Skin discoloration is visible around the vein
Causes of Varicose Veins
So, what exactly causes these veins? Before we get into what they actually are, let’s talk about the function a normal, healthy vein should perform.
Our legs, like the rest of our body, have both visible veins and veins that run deep under the skin surface. When acting as they should, the deep veins in our legs carry oxygen-poor blood to the heart so more oxygen can be added. Leg muscles do this in your legs and squeeze the deep veins as you walk, using gravity to push blood upwards. The superficial veins, on the other hand, transport blood from your skin, fat tissue and muscles to the deep veins.
Varicose veins are typically caused by valves in the superficial veins that stop working correctly. This causes blood to build up within the veins, giving them an enlarged, twisted appearance, thanks to weakened vein walls.
Factors that Increase Chances of Varicose Veins
Sometimes the genetic lottery does not work in our favor. Here are some of the most common factors that increase your risk of developing varicose veins.
Age. Aging causes wear and tear on the body, including the valves in your veins that regulate your blood flow.
Gender. Women are more likely to develop varicose veins thanks to everyone’s favorite friend—hormones! Hormonal changes during times such as pregnancy and menopause produce hormones that relax vein walls. Additionally, hormone treatments like birth control pills can also increase your risk of varicose veins.
Pregnancy. Outside of just the hormonal state, pregnancy dramatically increases the volume of blood within your body. This supports the growing fetus but can cause the unfortunate side effect of varicose veins.
Family genetics. Your family has likely given you a great number of genetic gifts, but varicose veins are one present we wish could be returned. Chances are, if your family members have had varicose veins, you will too.
Obesity. Being overweight adds pressure on your veins.
A sedentary lifestyle. Your chances of getting varicose veins are higher if you frequently sit or even stand in one place for long periods. As you probably know, blood doesn’t flow well when you are in the same position for long periods of time.
The Difference Between Varicose Veins vs. Spider Veins
Spider veins are similar to varicose veins but have a smaller appearance. They are found closer to the skin surface and are generally red or blue and look like a spider’s web—hence the name.
Spider vein removal can be done using many of the procedures listed above that are used for varicose veins. Either way, treatment for veins in legs causes minimal discomfort and can alleviate uncomfortable symptoms while boosting your confidence.
Complications Due to Varicose Veins
Complications of varicose veins are rare. However, they can occur, and it is essential to know what to watch for. These complications can happen whether your varicose veins are painful or not. Complications include:
Ulcers. If you notice a discolored spot on your skin, particularly near the ankles, an ulcer may be starting to form. See a doctor immediately if you suspect you have one.
Blood Clots.Veins that run deep within the legs can become enlarged occasionally. This will cause that leg to swell and become painful. If the swelling and pain are persistent, you need to seek medical attention because it may indicate a blood clot.
Bleeding.A vein very close to the sink surface may burst, causing minor bleeding. If this occurs, seek medical attention.
There are several ways to treat varicose veins. While a medical procedure is generally the best way to truly fix these veins, you can also try some at-home remedies to ease the discomfort. Some popular options include exercise and wearing compression stockings.
Medical procedures are also available to quickly and safely reverse the discomfort and appearance of varicose veins. These procedures are all offered at our vein centers in Frisco.
Options for Vein Removal in Frisco Texas
A doctor will inject small and medium-sized veins with a solution or foam that will close those veins during this non-surgical procedure, which will cause them to fade. Read more about injection therapy in Frisco Texas here.
In this option, doctors use laser treatment to close off smaller varicose veins. The laser will send bursts of light out to the vein, which causes them to fade and disappear. Although it is often referred to as laser surgery for veins in the leg, no incisions or needles are employed. Read more about leg vein laser therapy here.
Venefit Procedure (Vein Ablation)
This procedure is similar to laser treatment, except Venefit uses radiofrequency to close off veins rather than lasers. This is generally a safer technique and is only available in select offices like our vein clinic in Frisco, Texas. Read more about Venefit here.
Vein Removal (Microphlebecomy)
Another minimally invasive procedure involves the removal of varicose veins through a series of small punctures to the skin surgically. The part of your leg being pricked are numbed so pain is minimal, as is scarring. Read more about Microphlebectomy here.
Which treatment for veins in legs should I choose?
Knowing which treatment to choose requires a knowledgeable, empathetic professional. Often, a combination of treatments is employed rather than a single option. If you are local to the DFW area, choose the best vein doctor in Dallas—our very own Dr. Giraldo. We are located in the Frisco area, with excellent access to all of North Texas including Southlake, Allen, Plano, and McKinney.
Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent varicose veins completely. However, the best way to reduce your risk of developing varicose veins is to improve your muscle tone and circulation through measures like exercise, watching your weight, eating a diet low in salt and high in fiber and changing sitting or standing positions regularly. Additionally, avoiding high heels and tight hose or elevating your legs from time to time are said to help.
If you have varicose veins and would like to seek treatment for the veins in your leg, contact us to schedule a consultation today.