Varicose veins are misshapen, enlarged veins that show underneath the surface of the skin. Research shows that a little over 1/3 of the U.S. population develop varicose veins. Veins like these are weakened and swollen from aging, forming a cluster of blue and purple veins, sometimes surrounded by tiny red spider veins. The main issue with varicose veins is their unappealing appearance, but other times they can implement a larger vascular problem. Most varicose veins present in the lower extremities due to the constant gravitational pull while walking. Some patients have reported physical symptoms such as leg fatigue, brown discoloration at the ankles, tinging, itching, burning sensation, throbbing pain, internal bleeding, ulcers, blood clots, and cramps after prolonged periods of rest.
The exact cause of varicose veins is not fully known, but the following are likely contributing factors:
Varicose veins are easy to notice with a visual examination. After a complete family history evaluation and physical examination to detect swelling and pain, the following non-invasive procedure may be ordered to discover or rule-out any evidence of blood clots:
There are many lifestyle changes that can reduce your risk of developing varicose veins as you age:
Treatment for varicose veins is simple, effective, and minimally invasive to make your varicose veins less visible:
Compression stockings – reduces swelling in the legs, increases circulation, and prevents or decreases blood clot formation
Laser vein treatment- pulsed dye lasers (PDLs) use light to close off the vein, causing it to disappear as it heals.
Sclerotherapy – injects a solution that closes the vein, causing them to fade within a month.
Phlebectomy – veins are removed through tiny skin punctures; the area is numbed and scarring is minimal.
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