Varicose veins are enlarged, twisted veins visible on the lower extremities. While varicose veins are typically considered a serious medical condition, it’s usually a good idea to get them checked out by a doctor. In fact, varicose veins can lead to additional health complications in some cases, but this can be avoided if proper treatment is administered in time.
What Are the Symptoms of Varicose Veins?
Each person may experience symptoms differently. However, here are the most common ones:
- Color changes in the skin
- Sores on the legs
- Sensations in the legs ( for example, heavy feeling, burning, and/or aching)
Eventually, severe varicose veins may produce long-term mild swelling, resulting in more serious skin and tissue problems like ulcers and nonhealing sores. In addition, the symptoms of varicose veins may resemble other medical conditions or problems. Because of that, it is best to talk with a healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
Who Is Likely To Get Varicose Veins?
Anyone can develop varicose veins. Certain factors increase the chances of developing varicose veins, including:
- Age. Because of aging, vein walls and valves may not work like before. Also, veins lose elasticity and stiffen.
- Gender. One factor that allows the walls of the veins to stretch is the female hormone. In fact, a higher risk of varicose veins is expected among pregnant people, women taking a birth control pill, or going through menopause due to hormone level changes.
- Family history. Varicose veins can be inherited. If this condition runs in families, there is a chance for it to pass on to other family members.
- Lifestyle. This includes standing or sitting for long periods that decreases circulation. Also, other factors that decrease blood flow include wearing restrictive clothing (like girdles or pants with tight waistbands).
- Overall health. Certain health conditions, such as severe constipation or certain tumors, increase pressure in the veins.
- Tobacco use. Tho who use tobacco products are more likely to develop varicose veins.
- Weight. Excess weight puts pressure on blood vessels.
What Are the Effective Treatments for Varicose Veins?
While many people can contain the damage caused by varicose veins, many need medical intervention because their symptoms significantly interfere with the quality of their life. However, the specific treatment for varicose veins will be determined by the healthcare provider based on the following:
- Age, overall health, and medical history
- Extent of the condition
- Signs and symptoms
- Tolerance of specific medicines, procedures, or therapies
- Expectations for the course of the condition
- Opinion or preference
Moreover, here are the most effective treatments for varicose veins:
Those who seek assistance early in the progress of developing varicose veins in their legs will be able to try sclerotherapy. The procedure consists of injecting a medicine called sclerosant into the vein lining, causing the vein to collapse, stick together, and the blood to clot. It is given that the body will eventually form scar tissue in this area, but it will disappear over time.
Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)
The treatment uses heat energy to damage the vein for it to close, causing the blood flow to stop. It can treat major varicose veins on the legs, wherein a small incision is made to insert a 7 cm fiber into the vein. In fact, it is through this fiber that it releases thermal energy.
Since this is a minimally invasive procedure, minimal discomfort can be expected afterward. However, the damaged vein will be entirely absorbed by the body over time, while the treated area’s size and color will gradually reduce. This varicose vein treatment is painless and requires zero downtime.
A premade foam will be injected into the vein during this procedure. In addition, this medicine will reduce the appearance and symptoms of varicose veins. There is also no need for anesthesia, which is one advantage of this treatment.
Also called vein glue, venaseal is a revolutionary and newly approved treatment. It is used for varicose veins near the skin’s surface. Without anesthesia, the glue is introduced to the vein through just one incision.
Within seconds only, the glue is effective in sealing off the vein completely. Although the area will harden, the body will gradually absorb it. That said, the body will then reroute the blood from this damaged area, after the treatment, into the surrounding healthy veins.
This is the latest treatment for varicose veins, having the advantage of a more effective and quickly completed treatment. Moreover, the treatment involves introducing a rotating catheter into the damaged vein.
As the catheter is withdrawn, an FDA-approved medicine (called STD) is injected. In this procedure, the main advantage is that only 1 injection is required. The injected medicine disrupts the vein’s lining, which promotes using sclerosants to close the vein, and the body gradually absorbs the damaged area.
What Are the Complications of Varicose Veins?
Complications of varicose veins are rare. If they occur, they may include:
- Varicose ulcers. Painful ulcers can develop in an individual, especially over the ankle. In fact, varicose ulcers can take time to heal and reoccur even after healing.
- Blood clots. Stagnated blood can clot and cause the leg to swell. This condition causes the veins to enlarge and inflame, which is also called thrombophlebitis.
- Bleeding. This may happen if varicose veins are close to the skin since they may burst.
If any of these complications are developed, seek medical attention immediately.
How Are Varicose Veins Diagnosed?
The doctor will diagnose the varicose veins by physical examination. They will take the symptoms and personal and family medical history and examine the veins. Doctors will look for bulging veins while the patient is standing.
The doctor may also do an ultrasound on the veins. This will help find blood flow problems and the veins’ structure. They may also check if more serious conditions are developed, like blood clots, damage to the veins, or ulcers.
Can Varicose Veins Be Prevented?
Steps to prevent varicose veins include:
- Keeping a healthy weight
- Exercising regularly
- Putting the feet up while sitting
- Not crossing legs while sitting
- Not wearing tight clothing
- If seated, get up and walk around every 30 minutes
- If standing, take a break every 30 minutes
- Elevate the legs
- Avoid soaking in hot baths for long periods of time
The Bottom Line
If varicose veins are left untreated, the condition may worsen since, over time, the valves in the veins may weaken and stop working properly. Belle Visage Medical Aesthetics offers Varicose Veins treatments for those tired of unsightly veins who want to help achieve smooth, beautiful legs. At Belle Visage, they are a neighborhood medical aesthetics studio passionate about whole-person care, combining masterful, upscale service and a warm, intimate client experience.