Unsightly? Sure. Uncomfortable or even painful? Perhaps. Dangerous? The answer, surprisingly, could very well be yes. That's because varicose veins can be the early symptoms of serious issues or can lead to dangerous complications. If you have varicose veins, even minor or seemingly insignificant ones, it's always best to get them treated -or at least checked out by your doctor.
Five Things You Might Not Know About Varicose Veins
In general, varicose veins, although commonly known, are less commonly understood. Here are five things you may not have known about varicose veins, whether or not you suffer from them:
1) Varicose veins are a result of excess blood in the larger veins in the body, forcing blood into smaller, more superficial veins closer to the skin. As these grow larger, these small, spiderweb-like veins become more visible, which is why early stages of varicose veins are often referred to as “spider veins.” Later, as these smaller veins continue to grow and the condition worsens, the veins get larger, twisted and painful as they transform into what we know as varicose veins or, clinically, lower extremity venous disease.
2) The development of varicose veins is often genetic. Overweight patients and women -especially pregnant women, are also more likely to develop spider veins or varicose veins, but when men develop the condition, it can often present more serious, complicated, or dangerous symptoms overall. Certain professions that require extended sitting or standing have a higher tendency to develop the disease, too. These include teachers, office workers, flight attendants, and nurses, amongst others. Alternating periods of sitting and standing, together with daily gentle exercise to keep your blood circulating and a healthy diet that keeps your muscles healthy and weight down is always recommended as a precaution against varicose veins, whether or not you are at risk for developing the disease.
3) Not just unsightly, varicose veins can be cause for concern as the over-extended valves in the veins due to excess of blood can cause arteries in the heart to fail. Painful or dangerous swelling in the legs can cause skin ulcers, make your body less able to heal, and restrict blood and oxygen flow to vital organs throughout the body. Because bulging varicose veins are also closer to the skin, the risk of cuts and bleeding is higher in patients suffering from varicose or spider veins. In short, if you have (or suspect you are developing) varicose veins, it's always best to have them evaluated by your doctor. The faster spider or varicose veins are detected and treated, the more likely effective the treatment becomes.
4) Diagnosing varicose veins is a straightforward procedure that involves a visual examination of the legs while standing and, potentially, an ultrasound of the suspected veins and surrounding area. It's non-invasive and painless with near immediate results.
5) Treatment for spider veins or varicose veins can be cosmetic or for medical need, based on the severity or progression of the disease and the wants and needs of each patient. If spider veins are visible but are not endangering the patient's venous system, cosmetic Sclerotherapy involves injecting a solution into the veins themselves with extremely small and delicate needles, which causes them to shrink and disappear. In more serious cases, a foam is injected into larger varicose veins through an ultrasound-guided catheter. Over time, this foam causes the veins to collapse so that blood flow is naturally re-routed to the smaller, healthier, surrounding veins. Similarly, for larger or more severe cases of varicose veins, Radio Frequency Ablation can take be used, which is when a catheter is inserted into the vein, guided by an ultrasound. Once local anaesthesia is administered, heat is applied to the vein to break it down, causing it to shrink and collapse.
Whether for cosmetic or medical necessity, treatment for spider veins or varicose veins, like all diagnostics and treatments at CardioCare cardiovascular centre in Marbella, is performed expertly and effectively by our team of internationally-trained specialists with decades of experience and using the most cutting-edge technology.
Book a consultation with us online or call our friendly reception team at +34 677 759 003 to make an appointment to discuss your varicose veins and determine if they're simply an unsightly blemish under your skin or are potentially putting you in danger.