Varicose veins occur when veins become stretched out or enlarged over time, leading to non-functioning valves. These leaky valves allow the blood to flow in the wrong direction and back into the legs, a condition known as venous insufficiency. The blood pools and stagnates in the vein, causing it to stretch over time.
A varicose vein will appear swollen and rope-like, bulging out from the surface of the skin. They are most commonly found on the thighs or calves. The varicose vein may be the same color as the skin, or it may appear blue or red.
Varicose veins can cause the legs to swell or feel achy, heavy and tired. A person with varicose veins also may experience itching, burning, numbness or tingling. Varicose veins also cause nighttime leg cramps and restless leg syndrome. In extreme cases, varicose veins may result in skin changes, rashes, swelling, and ulcers or open sores on the legs if left untreated. Some patients can experience clotting of varicose veins, which can be quite painful.
Certain lifestyles and work requirements, such as prolonged sitting, can worsen venous disease. Teachers, police officers, and retail associates are all at risk for developing venous insufficiency and varicose veins
Spider veins are tiny, dilated veins that are visible on the surface of the skin. Spider veins are typically not painful, but some patients do complain of burning or itching. When numerous spider veins are visible at the skin’s surface, they may be an indicator that venous insufficiency of larger veins are present under the skin.
Please contact us with any questions you might have about varicose veins and spider veins, or if you would like to schedule an appointment with us to have your vascular disease diagnosed and treated.