Varicose veins are swollen and twisted veins that are visible just under the surface of the skin. They can form in other parts of the body but usually occur in the legs. Varicose veins are a common condition that causes few signs and symptoms. In some cases, however, they can cause mild to moderate pain, skin ulcers, and blood clots.
Varicose veins are blue or dark purple in color and can appear twisted and bulge under the skin on your legs.
When pain does occur from varicose veins it may include:
- Burning, throbbing and swelling in your lower legs
- Itching around one or more of your veins
- Bleeding from the varicose veins
- Increased pain after standing or sitting for a long time
- An achy or heavy feeling in the legs
Risk factors and causes of varicose veins can include:
- Age – Aging can cause your veins to lose elasticity, causing them to stretch. It also causes wear and tears on the valves in your veins that regulate blood flow. The wear causes the valves to allow blood to flow back into veins, collecting, instead of up to the heart.
- Obesity – Being overweight puts added pressure on your veins.
- Inactivity – Standing or sitting for extended periods of time can prevent your blood from flowing as well.
- Family History – Does your mom have varicose veins? Unfortunately, there’s a greater chance you will too.
- Pregnancy and hormones- Women are more likely to develop the condition due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, menstruation, or menopause because female hormones relax vein walls. Hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills may increase your risk of varicose veins.
When To See A Doctor
There are some steps you can take to help ease the pain varicose veins cause, and prevent them from getting worse, such as elevating your legs, exercise, and wearing compression stockings. If you are concerned about how your veins look and self-care hasn’t stopped them from getting worse, see your board certified doctor. The goals of treatment are to relieve symptoms, prevent complications and improve appearance.
Dallas Vascular Surgeon Dr. Gregory Pearl is board certified by the American Board of Surgery in General Vascular Surgery and a Fellow of Peripheral Vascular Surgery. He is named Top10MD – 1-in- 3 doctors succeed with this recognition in the United States. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Pearl link to his profile or call his office today 214-821- 9600.