A Leggy Problem: Preventing and Treating Varicose Veins

It is fair to say that if you suffer from varicose veins, the idea of wearing shorts or swimsuits in the summer is probably off limits, but this is a problem that goes deeper than aesthetic considerations.

There are vein treatments available from CLDerm.com for example, which could help to solve the beachwear dilemma, and it also helps to get an understanding on what causes varicose veins and what treatment options are available.

Varicose veins explained

When you have healthy veins, the valves contained within them work to stop your blood from remaining stagnant and don’t allow it the chance to flow back.

If these valves become weakened or damaged in some way, this creates a scenario where your blood may well be able to flow backward, causing it to accumulate in your vein. This makes it varicose, which is another term for swollen or enlarged. When this happens, you get to see the extent of the problem, as your veins become more pronounced than usual.

It is not just unsightly on your legs when you have varicose veins, although that is distressing to some patients in its own right, but there are potential health implications attached to this condition.

It should be said that a large percentage of people who suffer from varicose veins don’t suffer from any subsequent health or circulatory issues, although some may experience painful symptoms such as aching, swelling and general pain in their legs. In some cases, the discomfort can be relatively extreme, allowing complications such as ulcers to develop, which would then required medical treatment.

In the majority of cases, and bear in mind that an estimated 30% of people are affected by varicose veins to a certain extent, it is the aesthetic aspect of the condition that troubles patients the most.

Spider veins

If you don’t have varicose veins, you might be affected by what is known as spider veins.

Spider veins are similar to varicose veins but the fundamental difference is that these are smaller and are generally found closer to your skin’s surface, displaying a red or blue hue.

You may find that spider veins  affect your face as well as your legs, and it is not hard to see how they got their name, as the veins often closely resemble a spider’s web.

Various symptoms

As already stated, it is perfectly feasible that your varicose veins might not cause you any pain or discomfort. But if they do,  some of the symptoms might include an aching or heavy feeling in your legs, and noticeably worsened pain when you have been sitting or standing for a long period of time. This is definitely an issue to be wary of when traveling by aeroplane and you are in a pressurized environment for a long period of time and not moving around to help your circulation, leaving you more vulnerable to the prospect of deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

Other symptoms associated with varicose veins, include itchiness around the affected veins, a burning or throbbing sensation in your legs, or noticeable swelling or muscle cramping.

In particular, if you notice any color change in the vein or a noticeable hardening, inflammation or skin ulcers near your ankle region, these are all potential warning signs that you may possibly have a more serious form of vascular disease, and you are advised to seek medical attention.

Treatment options

Depending on the severity of your varicose veins and how you feel about them, especially if they are not actually causing you any pain but just look unsightly, you have various treatment options to consider.

The simplest option is to practice a bit of self-care, which involves losing some weight, getting regular exercise and taking care to avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time.

Compression stockings work by squeezing your legs and improving circulation. They encourage proper blood flow in an upper direction, pushing blood from your legs back up towards your heart, which should definitely help.

If you simply want to rid yourself of your varicose veins for cosmetic reasons, this is a procedure carried out under general anesthetic, although you can often be in and out in a day. Laser treatment is often used to deal with smaller veins like spider veins, making them fade and disappear over a period time.

If you have a leggy problem like varicose veins, there are options to deal with them and ways to help prevent them too.

Andrew Blake is a medical assistant in his early 40’s who enjoys writing on a wide range of health and medical related articles in his free time.