More than a third of Americans have varicose veins, bulging, purplish veins that typically appear on the legs or ankles. Varicose veins happen when changes inside the vein interfere with normal blood flow. When the blood backs up inside the vein, it causes the walls of the vein to bulge outward.
Board certified in cardiovascular diseases, Anthony B. Lewis MD, FACC, helps patients in Port St. Lucie, Florida, find relief for varicose veins with advanced treatments that eliminate the veins’ cosmetic appearance while restoring circulation in the area. In this post, he and his team reveal five reasons why your varicose veins might need to be treated.
1. Your legs ache
Your veins contain tiny valves that open and close rapidly, keeping your blood moving back toward your heart. Sometimes, these tiny valves get damaged (often as we age), slowing circulation, especially in your legs.
Leg muscles need plenty of oxygen to function normally. When circulation is compromised, your leg muscles struggle to meet demand, causing cramps and other painful symptoms that tend to be worse when you’re exercising, walking, or climbing stairs. Eventually, these painful symptoms become chronic.
2. Your veins are associated with skin ulcers
Varicose veins also interfere with circulation in your skin. Over time, reduced oxygen to these tissues results in changes in your skin’s protective barrier. You may notice that your skin becomes injured a lot more easily — even scratching or rubbing your aching legs can cause cuts and sores.
Since circulation is compromised, your skin doesn’t heal as well, either. Slow healing increases your risk of infection, and over time, a small sore can turn into a deep leg ulcer and a dangerous infection.
3. You have restless leg syndrome
Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a condition that causes irresistible urges to move your legs, typically when you’re trying to rest or sleep. Many people with RLS also report nighttime leg cramps, itching, or a “creepy-crawly” sensation in their legs.
RLS has multiple risk factors, including circulation problems caused by varicose veins. Treating those veins and improving circulation in your legs could be just what you need to reduce or eliminate RLS symptoms and finally get back to enjoying restful sleep.
4. Your veins could be a symptom of a more serious problem
While some varicose veins cause localized problems with circulation, other veins happen because of an underlying vein problem, like deep vein thrombosis (DVT). That’s why even though your veins might not be causing pain, they still need to be medically evaluated.
Ignoring varicose veins means that any underlying problem can get worse. Over time, vein complications can occur, increasing your risk of life-threatening clots and other problems.
5. Your veins make you feel self-conscious
Varicose veins don’t always cause painful or uncomfortable symptoms, but even when they don’t you can still be bothered by their unattractive appearance. Many people opt to treat their unsightly veins so they feel more confident wearing leg-bearing clothing.
Dr. Lewis and his team use state-of-the-art, minimally invasive treatments for varicose veins, with the goals of relieving symptoms, restoring circulation, and preventing more serious problems from developing. To learn more about varicose vein treatments, call or book an appointment online with the team at TLC Medical Group today.