Noticing varicose veins on the legs, the first thought a person may have is concern about what the vein may look like. If you’ve seen varicose veins, you know they can become extremely prominent in appearance. Many people with one or more of these bulging veins feel self-conscious to the point where they avoid wearing shorts or skirts. They may avoid looking at their legs but, at the same time, worry that they may need to have their varicose veins looked at by a professional. The concern often runs deeper than the appearance of the veins. People often wonder if these veins mean something about their general health. We’ll discuss this here.
What are Varicose Veins?
Blood travels to all parts of the body via a system of arteries. It is returned to the lungs and heart via a system of veins. Because veins in the legs transport blood against the force of gravity, they have one-way valves at various points. These valves rely on normal pressure, structure, and the periodic contractions of the calf muscles to work efficiently. Under certain conditions, the valves may fail to close fully. This results in blood pooling in a part of the vein. Over time, the vein becomes distended and twisted due to increased pressure caused by the stagnant blood.
Most people recognize varicose veins by their appearance. Without direct experience, it is easy to think that the worst part of varicose veins is the way they look. Direct experience proves that cosmetic symptoms may be the least concerning over time. Varicose veins often lead to symptoms such as restless legs syndrome, aching, a sense of fatigue and heaviness in the legs, burning, itching, and skin discoloration. With symptoms such as these, it is understandable to think that there may be other health conditions involved. Fortunately, this is rarely the case.
The most common factors that can contribute to the formation of varicose veins include:
- Family history
- Sitting or standing for prolonged periods
- Injury to the legs
Varicose veins are concerning because they affect appearance and can cause discomfort. While they are not seen as a significant medical concern, they can and should be treated if they cause you to feel unhappy. While moving the legs frequently may help reduce the risk of future varicose veins, this and other lifestyle remedies cannot cure venous insufficiency that has already occurred. At Sun Vein & Vascular, we provide care that is tailored to each patient and their need. To schedule your consultation for vein treatment, contact our Dallas offiice at (214) 556-8880.