For those who suffer from varicose veins, one of the most common concerns is how unsightly they can be, but varicose veins are more problematic than just how they look. Without varicose vein treatment, someone can suffer from long-term pain and further health complications, but many people are unaware of what causes them, what their symptoms are, and how to treat them.
What Are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are enlarged and twisted veins. They can exist anywhere on your body but are most commonly found on the legs and feet. In appearance, they’re bulging, large, and blue and they lie just beneath the surface of the skin.
What Causes Varicose Veins?
Increased blood pressure in your veins causes varicose veins to occur. Blood flows through the veins in our bodies in one direction — toward the heart — and passes through our veins via one-way valves. These valves can get damaged or weaker with time, which then leads to blood pooling in the vein instead of flowing, all resulting in enlarged veins.
Sitting or standing for an extended period of time can cause blood pooling in the veins, which results in higher pressure. This increase in pressure can damage the walls of the veins and the valves over time.
Are There Risk Factors for Varicose Veins?
Genetics plays a factor in varicose veins, and women are twice as likely as men to develop varicose veins. Some other risk factors include:
- Being overweight or obese
- Old age
- A sedentary or inactive lifestyle
- Leg injury
- Oral contraceptives
What Are the Symptoms of Varicose Veins?
If you frequently ask yourself, “Why do my legs feel heavy?” or “Why are my legs swollen?” then it’s possible that you might have varicose veins. Other common symptoms are:
- Dark blue or purple veins
- Bulging veins
- Achy feeling in legs
- Burning and throbbing in legs
- Itchiness around veins
- Changes in skin color around veins
- Nighttime leg cramping
- Restless Leg Syndrome
- Venous ulcers
Can I Prevent Varicose Veins?
Unfortunately, you can’t entirely prevent varicose veins from happening, but you can take action to minimize existing veins and symptoms and prevent them from worsening. You can:
- Avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time
- Wear compression socks
- Eat a healthy diet
- Get plenty of exercise
- Sleep on your left side if pregnant
- Quit smoking
- Avoid high heels
- Seek medical varicose vein treatment
What Varicose Vein Treatments Exist?
While medical treatment isn’t always necessary for varicose veins, your symptoms can worsen without it. Your doctor will determine your treatment plan. They may start out conservatively before determining that medical treatment is the best option for you. The most common treatment options are:
- Elevate your legs. Elevating your legs improves blood flow and lowers blood pressure. Raising your feet above your heart three to four times a day for 15 minutes each helps reduce swelling and relieve some of your other symptoms.
- Wear compression socks. Another good way to relieve swelling and achiness in your legs? Wear compression socks. Because they improve blood flow and circulation in your legs and feet.
- Do Sclerotherapy. Sclerotherapy is a procedure that involves injecting the vein with saline solution. This causes the vein to collapse, eventually turning the vein into scar tissue.
- Get an Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA). EVLA is a minimally invasive procedure that involves using a laser to cauterize the vein, ceasing blood flow through the damaged vein and into healthy ones.
- Use the VenaSeal Closure System. The VenaSeal Closure System is a non-thermal, non-sclerosant minimally invasive procedure that involves closing off the vein by gluing it shut.
- Have the ClosureFast procedure. The ClosureFast procedure is another minimally invasive procedure that uses radiofrequency (RF) to heat the vein and close it, redirecting blood to flow through healthy veins.
If you’re suffering from pain, swelling, achiness, and heaviness in your legs, varicose vein treatment might be right for you. And if you’re searching for “the best varicose vein treatment near me,” look no further than Colorado Skin & Vein. Request your consultation today.