What Are Varicose Veins and Are They Serious?

Veins are the blood vessels responsible for pumping blood back to the heart after it delivers oxygen throughout the body. In order to do so, veins utilize tiny valves that close after blood passes through them, to ensure that blood only flows upward. When valves weaken or fail, blood begins to accumulate and travel backward. This creates excess pressure on the vein’s walls, causing it to stretch and contort, creating varicose veins. This is a common occurrence, particularly for women, and while it’s not always serious, it can cause debilitating symptoms and severe complications. Click HERE to visit our award-winning vein center in California and explore varicose vein treatment options.

When should you worry about varicose veins? Varicose veins aren’t the prettiest things. But are they cause for concern? Here’s when to seek varicose vein treatment.

Does Standing for Long Periods of Time Cause Varicose Veins?

If you’re wondering what causes varicose veins, lifestyle is one contributing factor. People who sit or stand for long periods of time at work, or who are obese or sedentary are more likely to develop varicose veins. But the primary link to varicose veins is a family history of these defective blood vessels, since they tend to run in families. In addition, being female increases the likelihood of varicosities, since hormonal shifts that occur with pregnancy, birth control usage, and menopause elevate the risk of developing varicose veins.

When Should You Worry About Varicose Veins Appearing?

Varicose veins are worrisome to many patients simply because of how they look. The enlarged, twisted veins are often boldly colored and protrude beneath the surface of the skin. Most patients think they look unhealthy and also unattractive. But when are varicose veins more than a cosmetic worry? These defective blood vessels are often caused by a common, yet underdiagnosed, vein disease called Chronic Venous Insufficiency. The faulty venous valves involved in this condition allow blood to pool and engorge the vein. Left untreated, this disease will likely produce more varicose veins and spider veins too. But it can also cause uncomfortable and even life-threatening complications, so read on to see which symptoms warrant your urgent attention.

What Are the Initial Symptoms of Untreated Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins aren’t just unpleasant to look at, some patients also experience symptoms like leg pain, swelling, heaviness, itching, cramping, and restlessness. Many people have trouble sleeping since their varicose veins cause restless sensations at night, particularly if they spent long periods of time sitting or standing that day. Varicose veins can be asymptomatic, but if you have bothersome sensations stemming from varicose veins, or are unhappy with their appearance, visit our Harvard-trained vein doctors in California for a consultation before your symptoms escalate to the advanced issues described below.

Do Varicose Veins Cause Skin Ulcers or Deep Vein Thrombosis?

Left untreated, Chronic Venous Insufficiency and varicose veins can cause significant issues, including blood clots and venous ulcerations, which are wounds that are difficult to treat. In addition, protuberant varicose veins are prone to profuse bleeding with even the slightest bump or abrasion. Some patients also develop venous stasis dermatitis, or venous eczema, which is a persistent itchy rash that causes redness and flaky skin near the varicose vein. Others might develop hyperpigmentation or discoloration on their calves and ankles from circulatory inefficiency. Left untreated, some patients contend with leg heaviness and fatigue that makes it difficult to complete the simplest tasks.

Does Varicose Vein Treatment Help Blood to Flow Efficiently?

Proper varicose vein treatment does more than erase those visible superficial veins. It also addresses the underlying issue by sealing off the malfunctioning valve. This prompts blood to flow into healthy veins that can carry it back to the heart. Advanced treatments target both the problem and the resulting vein damage, often in a single appointment. Our innovative vein specialists use ultrasound guidance to isolate the issue and determine the proper position for insertion, and then use tiny needles or catheters to deliver treatment precisely where it’s needed, without surgically removing the vein. All of our varicose vein treatments are minimally invasive but provide maximum resolution of vein diseases and varicose veins.

Does Treatment Also Relieve Leg Pain & Muscle Cramps?

Minimally invasive procedures like sclerotherapy, radiofrequency ablation, and vein adhesives can relieve symptoms like leg pain and muscle cramps, if the vein doctor looks for and addresses the cause of your varicose veins. Some vein centers only provide cosmetic treatments, like surface lasers for spider veins. But our Ivy League-trained vein doctors find the causative issue and treat it, so vein damage and uncomfortable symptoms are both resolved.

Does Treating Superficial Veins Fix a Varicose Blood Vessel?

As mentioned, some cosmetic or dermatological vein centers only treat superficial veins, like small spider veins in the facial area. If you have spider veins in your legs or varicose veins, you need to visit a board certified vein doctor for resolution of your issues. Ignoring valve failure in deeper veins means spider veins and varicose veins will likely continue to appear. Cosmetic treatments can’t seal off broken valves or resolve larger blood vessels like varicose veins, nor can they treat blood clots or deep vein thrombosis. Choose our accredited California vein center for comprehensive care.

Where Should You Seek Varicose Vein Treatment in California?

Instead of wondering when you should worry about your varicose veins, come get an expert’s opinion. Our compassionate vein doctors love explaining vein diseases and vein treatments and will never recommend a treatment you don’t need. All of our procedures are minimally invasive and done in under 30 minutes, so you can achieve relief and head right back to your usual routine. With vein centers in San Diego and San Jose, our varicose vein treatments are as convenient as they are effective. Schedule your consultation today!