The development of varicose veins can be a major obstacle for men and women alike when it comes to maintaining smooth, healthy, and youthful-looking skin. Beyond the aesthetic frustrations that come with the appearance of varicose veins, they often present with a list of symptoms that can range from uncomfortable to painful. While many of these symptoms can be problematic in carrying out daily tasks due to general discomfort, they may also be linked to more serious underlying health issues that need to be addressed by a professional vascular surgeon. For all of these reasons, noticing side effects of varicose vein issues is imperative and a first step in putting a plan into place to maintain overall vein health in the long-term.
The human body’s circulatory system is a complex network of veins and arteries that are responsible for moving blood seamlessly between the heart, limbs, and the rest of the body. While arteries carry oxygen-rich blood away from the heart, veins are tasked with carrying oxygen-depleted blood back up to the heart, against the pull of gravity. To help make this happen, veins are outfitted with a series of valves that ensure blood is flowing correctly. When one or more of these valves happens to malfunction, it doesn’t take much time for blood to flow back down in the opposite direction and begin to pool in the limbs. These malfunctions are referred to as venous insufficiencies and many physicians point to this as an underlying cause for varicose veins. As the blood pools in the limbs, pressure builds on the vein walls, and over time, bulging, discoloration, and twisting can occur. In addition to venous insufficiencies, the development of varicose veins has been linked to genetic dispositions, hormonal fluctuations, the natural aging process as well as lifestyle choices. Those that spend a significant amount of time standing or sitting during the day for work or fly long distances on a regular basis may be more prone to developing varicose veins over time.
The symptoms associated with varicose veins are vast and varied. Some individuals that suffer from this condition will notice twisted or bulging veins just under the surface of the skin that present in discolored ropes of either red, purple, blue, or a combination. Beyond these aesthetic changes, many who suffer from varicose veins also notice significant swelling, aching, and even cramping at the site of the veins. Some of these veins may be warm to the touch and mobility may be impacted by the most severe cases of varicose veins.
While the variety of uncomfortable symptoms are often enough to have those suffering from varicose veins looking for treatment options, there are other more serious factors to consider when dealing with side effects of varicose vein issues. Varicose veins are an indicator that blood is not easily able to move well through the veins and as a result, those suffering from the condition may be more susceptible to the development of blood clots. The risk with blood clots always lies with the potential for a clot breaking free and traveling to the lungs, which can potentially prove fatal. To avoid this scenario, it’s important for patients with varicose veins to be regularly monitored for changes.
Fortunately, for patients today suffering from varicose veins, there are a number of options when it comes to reducing these problematic veins or eliminating them altogether while trying to avoid vascular surgery. Many times, physicians will recommend that compression garments be worn on a regular basis in order to promote healthy blood flow through the limbs and reduce swelling and painful symptoms. A consistent diet and regular exercise will also likely be recommended.
Beyond these garments and guidelines, it’s likely that patients with varicose veins will undergo an initial ultrasound. This allows the vascular surgeon to clearly map out the problematic veins and be able to identify areas of concern both in the present and those that might become problematic in the future. From here, a customized treatment plan can be put into place. Options include everything from vein stripping where varicose veins are surgically removed to less invasive options such as sclerotherapy where veins are injected to promote closure and collapse, allowing blood to flow well once again through other veins. Laser treatment is also an option for patients who desire a less invasive approach to varicose vein removal unless it is more problematic, then vascular surgery might be required. Precision laser heat is applied to the vein to close it and allow the body to naturally reabsorb the problematic vein.
Whether you have concerns regarding varicose veins or are looking to establish care for overall vein health, the team at the Skin & Vein Center is here to help! Contact us today to learn more about our many treatments and services and the varicose vein treatment side effects, so that you have all the information in your hands.