Distended or tortuous veins in the lower leg.
Varicose veins impact the lives of 3.7 million Canadians. This common condition affects twice as many women, and for many, it’s an inherited trait. You may notice bulging veins or bluish strings of veins running beneath the skin.
It’s important to understand some of the cause of varicose veins and what you can do to help them.
What are Varicose Veins?
Veins in the body can become enlarged or torturous making them more visible under the skin. Standing and sitting for extended periods of time, puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the the leg veins. People who spend the majority of their standing or sitting are more likely to develop varicose veins.
For many, “spider veins” are a cosmetic issue that impacts their appearance. You may never feel pain or discomfort due to varicose veins. For others, the veins are throbbing and painful, which results in a constant reminder of their presence. In sore instances varicose veins can lead to more serious venous disease. It is important to have them assessed to ensure you get the best outcome.
Causes of Varicose Veins
The veins work with the muscles and valves to recirculate our blood. Over time, and with constant negative pressure in the veins, valves weaken which results in a back flow of blood and pooling in the lower legs and ankles. If left untreated more valves can become affected and worsen the look and feel of the legs. Arteries that carry blood throughout the body and rely on veins to return that blood back to the heart. Veins are working against gravity to pump blood back up towards the heart.
There are a few factors that may increase your chances of developing varicose veins. Here are some of them:
- Age: Aging naturally causes the valves to weaken
- Sex: Women are more likely to have varicose veins due to hormonal changes throughout life.
- Family history: You have a greater chance of developing varicose veins if someone in your family has had them.
- Obesity: Excess weight in the midsection puts pressure on your veins.
- Prolonged standing/sitting: People who work on their feet all day or are seated for long periods of time.
Symptoms of Varicose Veins
You may notice spider veins on your legs but experience no pain. Here are some symptoms to look out for if you think you might have varicose veins:
- Dark purple or blue veins.
- Veins that appear mangled and bulging.
- Aching, burning or throbbing in your lower legs.
- Itchy veins.
- Skin discoloration
When Should You Seek Professional Help?
You should see a Chiropodist at the first sign of a varicose vein. Treatment is keep to prevent further development of varicose veins. If you develop hot spots or red area on your lower legs or ankles, this could be a sign of something more serious.
Your Chiropodist will discussed your treatment options but the easiest and most effective way to address varicose veins is with compression stocking. Our clinic would be happy to discussed compression therapy with you.