What are Varicose Veins and Spider Veins? And What is Vein Disease?
Varicose veins are large, bulging, and unhealthy blood vessels filled with excess blood. The accumulation of blood in the leg veins leads to the dilation of vein walls, leading to varicose veins that bulge out of the skin’s surface in a twisted, tangled, and knotted form.
Chronic venous insufficiency is primarily responsible for varicose veins. Venous insufficiency is a medical condition wherein your vein valves weaken and blood flows backward, eventually accumulating in your leg veins. The continued accumulation of blood in the leg veins leads to vascular dilation and the formation of varicose veins. Common risk factors for varicose veins include genetic predisposition, age, pregnancy, undergoing hormone therapy, or occupations that involve long periods of sitting or standing still.
Spider veins are dense networks of blood vessels that appear just underneath the skin’s surface, looking similar to spider webs spreading outwards from a central location. They can be red, blue, or purple, and they usually appear on the legs or face. The medical terminology for spider veins is “telangiectasia.”
Spider veins also occur due to excess blood accumulation in leg veins, but they’re not always indicative of underlying venous insufficiency. In some cases, however, the collapse of your vein valves can lead to backward blood circulation and the accumulation of blood in your leg veins, thereby leading to spider veins. You have a higher risk of spider veins if you’re genetically predisposed, female, pregnant, or have a sedentary job that involves long periods of sitting or standing still.
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Vein Disease Symptoms
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)
Restless legs syndrome is a medical condition marked by an incessant desire to shake or move your legs. This can be accompanied by leg heaviness, leg swelling, and other side effects of vein disease. If left untreated, restless legs syndrome can interfere with your daily activities and sleep, leading to fatigue, insomnia, and anxiety.
Chronic venous insufficiency is the likely cause of restless legs syndrome if you also have other symptoms, such as leg heaviness, leg swelling, leg pain, spider veins, or varicose veins. Furthermore, the symptoms of restless legs syndrome caused by vein disease worsen at the end of the day or after long periods of sitting or standing still. The continued accumulation of blood in the leg veins leads to an insatiable desire to shake your legs.
Leg cramps are painful and involuntary muscular contractions originating in the legs, specifically the thighs or calves. Cramps originating in the calves are usually called “Charley Horse.” Even if your cramps originate in the legs, they can spread to other parts of your body, such as your arms.
Most people experience occasional leg cramps, but frequent leg cramps are indicative of dehydration, pregnancy, electrolyte imbalance, or chronic venous insufficiency. If you experience frequent leg cramps despite being hydrated and maintaining a balanced diet, and if the symptoms worsen at the end of the day, you probably have underlying venous insufficiency. The accumulation of blood in the leg veins can lead to frequent leg cramps. Please schedule an appointment at our vein centers in California for a diagnosis and treatment.
Leg heaviness may occur due to numerous factors. However, if you experience persistent leg heaviness that worsens at the end of the day or after long periods of sitting or standing, you may have underlying venous insufficiency. The accumulation of blood in your leg veins can lead to leg heaviness, but you can achieve temporary relief if you engage in exercises that work your calf muscles. If you experience leg heaviness or other signs and symptoms of vein disease, please contact the vein doctors at our vein centers in California.
Leg swelling is a condition wherein one or both of your legs are swollen. This condition is also known as peripheral edema, and it leads to the abnormal accumulation of fluid in the lower extremities of your body, i.e., the legs. You may experience leg swelling for numerous reasons, such as salt retention, heart conditions, kidney failure, and more. However, if you have persistent leg swelling that worsens at the end of the day or after prolonged periods of inactivity, you may have underlying chronic venous insufficiency. You can wear compression stockings to minimize leg swelling, but you must contact reliable vein doctors for long-lasting relief.
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Causes of Vein Disease
Causes of Spider Veins and Varicose Veins
Spider veins are dense clusters of red, blue, or purple blood vessels visible just underneath the skin’s surface. Varicose veins are dense ropes of knotted, twisted, and tangled blood vessels that bulge out of the skin’s surface. Both spider veins and varicose veins are caused by unhealthy saphenous veins that prevent smooth blood circulation to the heart. They’re usually symptomatic of chronic venous insufficiency, the circulatory disorder responsible for most vein problems.
Chronic venous insufficiency is a medical condition wherein the collapse of vein valves makes blood accumulate in the leg veins, eventually leading to spider veins, varicose veins, and other vein problems. As such, vein disease is catalyzed by the collapse of vein valves, which may occur due to numerous reasons, such as age, genetic predisposition, biological sex, hormone therapy, and occupation. You’re more likely to get spider veins and varicose veins if you’re female, pregnant, undergoing hormone therapy, older than 40, or have a family history of vein problems.
Chronic Venous Insufficiency
Chronic venous insufficiency is a circulatory disorder that occurs when your vein valves collapse. In healthy veins, the valves act as one-way doors to ensure smooth blood flow towards the heart, preventing blood from flowing backwards. When your vein valves malfunction due to age, pregnancy, genetic predisposition, or other factors, blood flows backwards due to gravity and accumulates in the leg veins. The continued accumulation of blood in leg veins leads to the dilation of vein walls, which, in turn, leads to spider veins and varicose veins.
At its earliest stages, chronic venous insufficiency leads to leg heaviness, restless legs syndrome, throbbing leg veins, leg swelling, leg pain, leg cramps, and spider veins. However, if allowed to persist, the condition worsens until you experience varicose veins, skin discoloration, skin changes, leg ulcers, and deep vein thrombosis (blood clots). That’s why you must consult reliable vein doctors. Our spider vein and varicose vein centers in California identify and treat the root cause of your symptoms, ensuring optimal and long-lasting results.
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