There’s one thing we all know about varicose veins: those bulging, dark twisty things don’t look great when they show up on your legs (or anywhere else.) But here’s what you may not know: varicose veins are actually your body’s way of warning you that problems are brewing inside.
5 Conditions Associated with Spider Veins
- Venous Insufficiency. While varicose veins aren’t themselves bad for you, the factors that create them can be. You see, veins are elastic blood vessels, charged with carrying blood back to the heart after it’s reached your body’s extremities. In the veins, there are a series of valves that open and close, allowing blood to flow up and towards the heart. The valves are basically one way gates that open to let blood flow up, but close to keep it from going back down towards your body again. They are your body’s way of fighting gravity. But, what happens when those valves stop working well? Your blood can begin to go backward, allowing blood to back up and pool. That kind of backward flow is called venous insufficiency, and aside from allowing veins to stretch and bulge it can also lead to leg and ankle swelling (edema), pain, itching and other uncomfortable symptoms.
- Blood Clots. When VI leaves you with pooling blood, that blood is more likely to form clots. Clots that form in the walls of your superficial veins (also called phlebitis) can be quite painful, although not usually life threatening.
- Deep Vein Thrombosis. Also known as DVT, this is a condition that occurs when blood clots form in your body’s deeper veins. Associated with poor circulation, it is considered a life threatening condition because, if a clot breaks free, it can travel to the lungs (pulmonary embolism).
- Ulcers. When blood sits around in your veins, it doesn’t just clot–it can start to leak out of your vessels as the walls become stretched beyond capacity. The leaked blood can deposit itself into the soft tissue of your legs, especially around your ankles where the skin is thin, holes may open up. Because your circulatory system is already compromised, less than optimal amounts of oxygen will reach that hole, making it more difficult for the skin to heal itself. That is why individuals with VI are more prone to open sores (ulcers.)
- Hemorrhaging. When VI persists without treatment veins may be stretched to the point where they burst. At that point, you will experience bleeding that, depending on the location of the vein, may be dangerous to your overall health.
Now that you understand the potential complications associated with spider veins, don’t waste another minute: schedule a diagnostic vein scan to determine the best treatment course to resolve your venous insufficiency.
Sources: news.llu.edu, healthline.com, clevelandclinic.org, texaseva.com