It’s best to treat spider veins and vein disease early. In order to do this, however, you need to know your personal risk factor. Plus, you have to spot problems at their onset. So, today, we’ll help you with both those tasks.
Varicose Vein Risk Factors
You can develop varicose veins at any time, but certain factors may elevate your risk. First, you should know that these veins are typically caused by faulty valves that affect the ability of your blood to flow back towards your heart, leaving it to pool in veins that then stretch out over time.) Predisposing factors include:
– Family history
– Sedentary lifestyle
– Carrying extra weight
– Constricting footwear/high heels
Any of these factors can contribute to your likelihood of developing varicose veins. If you have one or more risk factors, it is even more important for you to look out for the earliest warning signs that indicate your veins have been damaged.
Initial Signs of Varicose Veins
In order to detect vein disease, you have to actually look at your veins on a somewhat regular basis. People with dark, more visible veins are often more likely to develop a problem. If your feet are swollen at the end of the day, you’re also at risk of developing varicose veins. So you should talk to your doctor immediately if this symptom persists beyond a day or two.
Light red spots may also appear on your lower legs before the tell-tale swelling and bulging of varicose veins actually appear. These spots may be a sign of a burst blood vessel, or other forms of venous insufficiency. Other symptoms may also include:
– peeling or itching skin. (If your lower legs are itchy, it could be signs of varicose veins. But it also could be a symptom of venous insufficiency or PAD. Both of which we can address in our Houston area vein clinics.)
– an unnatural shine on your legs
– unnatural coloring on pigmentation on the surface of the skin
Any one of these symptoms should be sufficient cause for you to undergo a diagnostic vein scan, but in combination, multiple warning signs should send you to your vein doctor immediately.
Of course, varicose veins can also develop without any warning from initial symptoms. Because of this fact, it’s important to undergo regular vein health check-ups, especially if you know that your risk for vein disease is elevated in any way. Just remember, the earlier you catch a vein problem, the simpler it will be to resolve your symptoms. And, at the end of the day, isn’t that what everyone wants?
5 Little Known Spider Vein Facts
Know that you’ve got the basics down, you’ll love learning these lesser-known spider vein facts.
1. As gnarled as their skin may look, elephants and other beasts don’t get varicose veins: only humans do. Unlike animals, who typically walk on four legs, the pressure put on human ankle veins from standing on two legs is what often leads to varicose veins.
2) Severe pain is not a symptom of varicose veins (except in rare cases where the veins have become inflamed;) dull aches after standing and itchiness are symptoms. Typically, however, it’s the cosmetic symptoms, not the physical ones, that lead patients to seek treatment.
3) Spider veins are not just your grandma or pregnant friend’s problem: they are way more common than you think. In fact, 30 per cent of all woman and 20 per cent of all men have large varicose veins. Of course, the chance of developing spider veins increases with age: by the age of 60 years, 50 per cent of all individuals have some sort of varicose vein.
4) Most varicose veins don’t require surgical treatment. Many veins can be treated on an outpatient basis with sclerotherapy, a procedure that uses an injection to shrink vessels and improve blood flow; radiofrequency ablation, a treatment in which a catheter is used to deliver heat to a vein, thus shutting it down; or a number of other treatment options that allow you to walk out of the clinic and go home on the same day as your procedure!
5) Treating varicose veins is important. Left untreated, skin damage that may simply start as dry, scaly, itchy skin can progress to form an ulcer, a hard-to-heal lesion that can be both painful and unsightly.
When it comes to your vein health, knowledge is power. The more you know about spider veins, why they develop and how they should be treated, the less likely you are to develop long-term problems as a result of this condition!
Sources: Mayo Clinic