person with varicose veins
person with varicose veins

Are Varicose Veins a Health Risk?

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Varicose veins are common and are often not considered a serious health problem.

It’s a common vascular condition that affects about 40 percent of men and 70 percent of women by age 60. Although varicose or spider veins are often not considered a serious medical problem, they can still make you feel uncomfortable and even pose other health risks to your body.

What should know about it and when you should be concerned? How do you avoid or remove them?

About Varicose Veins

Even though varicose veins are usually not a serious health concern, it’s still important to understand and know what it is so that you’ll know when it’s time for a checkup, how to prevent it, and ultimately, eliminate its risk in the long run.

To briefly define what it is, varicose veins are abnormally enlarged superficial veins. They often looked like gnarled, purplish, or bluish veins found in your legs and feet. Varicose or spider veins are caused by increased blood pressure, which is also the main reason why your veins change color and make them bulge out under your skin.

The cause of varicose veins remains to unknown, but several studies have concluded that there are several factors and actions that can contribute to or worsen its appearance.

  1. Hereditary

Several research and observation found that varicose veins can be inherited. So if your family has a long history of having varicose veins, then chances are you would probably have it as well. Cases like these are inevitable and the best thing you can do is to just try your best to minimize and mitigate its risks.

  1. Pregnancy

One of the most known and plausible causes of varicose veins is pregnancy. So it’s no wonder why 70 percent of women would probably have varicose veins by the age of 60.

  1. Obesity

Excessive weight gain increases the pressure on your veins, aggravating and making you more prone to develop varicose veins. Being overweight can also make you more physically inactive, which in turn can exacerbate the appearance of varicose veins around your legs.

When does it become a problem?

massaging legs
Photo by Bas Peperzak on Unsplash

Given that varicose vein is so common among adults, many often brush off the other serious symptoms as normal and not something to worry about.

With that said, it bears reminding that varicose veins, even though common, can also be a warning sign to a more serious health condition. By ignoring these warning signs, it can lead to other medical complications like phlebitis, deep vein thrombosis, lymphedema, and many more.

So if in case you are experiencing any of the symptoms below, then it might be best to consult and visit a vein specialist in Phoenix, LA, Boston, or any city near you.

  1. Protruding large vein visible on your skin

Aside from the common appearance of varicose veins, excessively large veins might be a clue to a deeper problem

  1. Swelling

In general, mild swelling is not often a sign of a bigger problem. However, if you have been noticing the swelling more often, then it might be in your best interest to consult with your doctor.

  1. Pain, throbbing, cramping, or heavy feeling

Varicose veins are often harmless and it is not common to experience pain or heavy feeling around the area where it is visible.

  1. Discolored skin around the area

The area around your varicose veins often remains the same. So if in case you notice some discoloration around it, then chances are it is swelling or might be a cause of something more severe.

Getting Rid of It

woman putting on stockings
Photo by Manki Kim on Unsplash

Thankfully, varicose veins sometimes fade naturally over time. However, it does not fully go away permanently.

To remedy its appearance, here are a few treatments and procedures that you can opt for:

  1. Compression Stockings

Wearing compression stockings are just preventive measures to keep it from worsening or even prevent it from appearing in the first place.

  1. Sclerotherapy

This type of procedure is almost instantaneous and you can see the result immediately. Sclerotherapy is basically injecting a chemical into the affected veins, causing the vein to close so that blood can no longer pool and flow through it.

  1. Vein Ablation

This type of procedure uses tiny electrodes that are then inserted into the affected vein. These electrodes would then heat the walls of the vein and ultimately destroy the affected vein tissue.

  1. Ambulatory phlebectomy

Another minimally invasive treatment is phlebectomy. It is when the affected veins are removed through tiny incisions. This procedure is often done in conjunction with other treatments and even though it requires incisions, stitches are often not necessary.

So even though varicose veins do not always pose a serious health risk, there are still tons of ways that you can mitigate their appearance. You can need to find an expert or healthcare professional that can help you.

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