Visible veins can be found in more than 30% of people and are commonly seen on the legs. Varicose veins are protruding, twisted veins that one can see and feel right under the skin. They commonly indicate a circulation problem. Other veins such as spider veins are not an immediate health concern and are mainly a cosmetic issue.
Spider veins are essentially the miniature version of varicose veins. They appear as red or blue lines in a weblike pattern. While spider and varicose veins look very different (varicose veins being more severe), both can indicate underlying health or circulation problems. If your veins cause discomfort or pain, then it is certainly time to get them treated and improve your quality of life.
Veins are supposed to be one-way valves that carry blood up to the heart, so they usually prohibit the backflow of blood. Visible veins occur when these vessels start to become leaky and cause blood to collect, or pool. For various reasons, vein walls weaken and cannot handle additional pressure from the excess blood. When this happens, veins start twisting and enlarging.
If varicose veins are left untreated, it can have a high impact on quality of life. Up to 80% of people with varicose veins will have more symptoms other than the veins’ obvious appearance. Therefore, it is essential not to ignore vein issues, especially when it comes to pain. Luckily, if you contact a vein specialist, you may be able to get your vein-related issues solved completely or at least under control.
Sometimes painful veins can lead to serious health issues such as blood clots, open sores, or skin infection. The veins usually get worse over time with several new complications eventually resulting. Today, varicose vein surgery is often minimally invasive and can be performed with little to no hassle by visiting a reputable vein clinic. Therefore, there is no need to delay treatment. Following are some of the issues that could be resulting if you ignore your varicose veins:
- Swelling in the leg:
When the pressure starts building in the veins, fluid from the blood starts leaking into the surrounding tissues, resulting in swelling. Signs of swelling (aside from the appearance itself) may include a tight sensation in the skin. Sometimes an impression may be left in the skin when you remove your shoes or socks.
In some severe cases, your shoes might not fit, and the swelling becomes very obvious or uncomfortable. Skin can start to leak a clear or yellowish fluid. These symptoms might show some improvements when you elevate your leg or use elastic or compression socks. If swelling persists, it can lead to severe changes like skin hardening or color change.
- Skin ulcers:
As stated, when left untreated varicose veins lead to swollen skin. When this occurs, the skin will not heal quickly even with only very minor injuries. This is because swollen tissue limits the flow of nutrients and oxygen which are both needed for the healing process.
This constant tension on the tissues prohibits healing, thereby generating non-healing ulcers. Reducing swelling is one of the most vital components to helping these ulcers finally resolve.
- Skin infections:
When tissues become stretched due to swelling, it starts interfering with the body’s natural defense system against many disorders. Bacteria present in the skin start getting inside the body, leading to a skin infection known as cellulitis.
As swelling increases, a distinct area of redness and warmth may begin developing. In this case, antibiotics are key for getting skin infections under control. Reducing swelling can greatly assist in resolving the infection.
If there is excessive blood in the veins below the skin surface, then you might bleed more than normal when the vein is cut or even accidentally bumped against a surface. If the skin is not broken, then there will be intense bruising. If an injury is significant, it will take a very long time for bleeding to stop.
As varicose veins increase in severity, it is more likely that blood clots excessively within the vein. About 3% of people with varicose veins will start developing blood clots. In these cases, the vein may become very painful, warm to the touch, and in some cases, very hard to the touch. This may indicate deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a very serious condition detailed below.
- Deep vein thrombosis:
About 25% of the people with varicose veins who develop blood clots start getting these clots within deep veins. This is called deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and it is a very serious medical condition that needs immediate medical treatment. With DVT, your leg may become swollen, red, and very painful. The considerable risk is when part or all of a blood clot starts breaking off and traveling. If the clot moves to the lungs, it can cause a life-threatening condition known as a pulmonary embolism.
In summary, if you have painful veins, it is vital that you talk to a doctor. If a vein is very swollen and your leg is red and warm, seek vein therapy in Philadelphia immediately if you are in the area. Keep in mind that you will likely not need to have surgery to treat it. Nowadays, minimally invasive alternatives are available for leg veins that can be a great option for most individuals.