5 Facts about Varicose Veins you should know
Varicose veins occur when blood veins become dilated, enlarged, and overfilled with blood. They appear raised, swollen, and have a red or bluish-purple color. The primary cause of varicose veins is the malfunction of the vein valves.
Keep in mind that these blood vessels have one-way valves that prevent blood from flowing backward. When the valves fail, blood starts to collect in the veins instead of flowing back to the heart. This causes the veins to enlarge. Here are other facts you should know about varicose veins.
1. Spider veins and varicose veins are not the same
Not all leg veins are the same. Most patients usually mistake spider veins for varicose veins, but there are many differences between these two blood vessel issues. Spider veins are usually smaller, flatter, and purple or red in color. On the other hand, varicose veins are usually bigger, bluish, and bulged out on the patient’s legs.
Intermountain Medical Imaging warns that both vein problems are common, but spider vein issues are more prevalent. In terms of treatment, varicose veins require more comprehensive treatment due to their size, nature, and the fact that they are more painful than spider veins.
2. Some symptoms of varicose veins should not be ignored
It is recommended to seek immediate medical attention if you notice hyperpigmentation of your lower leg and ankle. Skin hyperpigmentation means some skin patches become darker than the surrounding skin. Another symptom that you shouldn’t ignore is the hardening and thickening of the skin accompanied by itching and scaling.
Skin ulcers and other severe symptoms of varicose veins should be examined by a specialist. The patient may be suffering from a varicose vein that has developed due to a blood clot. This is known as deep vein thrombosis and can cause leg swelling and excruciating pain.
3. Varicose veins can be treated
Two decades ago, varicose vein treatment required patients to undergo anesthesia in a hospital operating room. But things have changed. Today, most varicose vein treatment procedures are done in a healthcare facility under local anesthesia or light sedative. Most of these procedures last an hour, and the recovery process takes a shorter time.
Some modern varicose vein treatment methods include a laser ablation or radiofrequency ablation, sclerotherapy, and other modern procedures.
4. Varicose veins can occur in other parts of your body
It is common for women and men to get varicose veins and spider veins in their legs. However, that’s not the only spot where you will see them pop up. Spider veins and varicose veins occur in legs due to gravity factor. They can also occur on your face, neck, and other parts of your body.
5. Changing your habits or lifestyle can help
Many varicose vein patients blame genetics for their troubles. However, other lifestyle-related factors could heighten the risk of developing varicose veins. Therefore, maintaining a healthy weight, regular exercise, and other lifestyle changes can help manage or prevent varicose veins.