What They Are
Varicose veins are dilated blood vessels due to weakened or damaged valves within those blood vessels. Since the valves are weakened or damaged, the blood, therefore, collects in the veins as it is not forced forward through the circulatory system. When the blood pools, the veins become enlarged. The veins often look twisted, swollen and lumpy under your skin is often viewed as an unsightly blemish by the people that experience them.
Risk Factors and Symptoms
Genetics play a role in who will experience these bulging veins. Pregnant women are more prone to these types of veins in their legs. People aged over 50 are more susceptible. If you stand for a long period of time you may experience these veins. People that are overweight have an increased risk as well as people that tend to wear tight clothing.
Symptoms often include itching, achy legs, swollen ankles, and spider veins. Legs cramps upon suddenly standing can occur. After exercise or at night, your legs may feel heavy. Tissue can become hyper-pigmented due to painful swelling and inflammation. Complications, although rare, can include ulcers, blood clots, and minor bleeding.
Despite having no way to completely prevent varicose veins, there are some things that can be done to minimize them. Improving your circulation and muscle tone may reduce your risk. Exercising, watching your weight, eating a high fiber diet, avoiding high-heels and tight hosiery are some at home ways to manage your symptoms. Elevating your legs often and even something as simple as changing your sitting or standing position regularly can help keep them at bay.
The Next Steps
If you feel that the above applies to you, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss. Your doctor will examine your legs and the visible veins and ask about any pain or symptoms you might be experiencing. An ultrasound or a venogram may be done to check the blood flow within the veins.
It is important to treat the bulging veins in your legs because some patients will see their symptoms worsen and others may even come down with a more serious, potentially life-threatening conditions. Treatment depends on the severity of the condition. In most cases, the damaged vein will be removed entirely. Home remedies to treat these bulging veins will never make them go away, only lessen the rate of which they continue to grow. Compression socks are good at home remedy to encourage the blood flow in the proper direction.
One surgical treatment is ablation for great saphenous vein. The great saphenous vein is a large, subcutaneous vein in the leg. It is the longest vein in the body returning blood from the foot, leg, and thigh. This vein is often on that starts bulging. Ablation for great saphenous vein closes this vein. The treatment can be performed with either laser or radiofrequency technology and takes between 45 and 60 minutes. Common side effects are a tightening sensation in your leg, cramping, bruising or swelling. These side effects usually lessen over the course of several days.
If your varicose veins are concerning to you, take the time to talk to your doctor. There is no need to be embarrassed by your legs or to be in pain when the treatments are effective.