When you’re young, you do not expect to develop bulging, varicose veins. But if you think it can’t happen, think again. It is just a myth that varicose veins are just for older people. The risk does increase after age 50, but young adults can indeed develop varicose veins, too.
More than 80 million Americans suffer from venous disease, a medical condition that can lead to further health problems if ignored.
Varicose Veins vs. Spider Veins
For many people who have spider veins, it’s simply a cosmetic concern. For others who have varicose veins, it’s more than cosmetic. Varicose veins can cause aching pain and discomfort and can lead to more serious health problems like blood clots.
- Varicose veins are gnarled and enlarged veins
- Any vein can become varicose, but the veins most commonly affected are those in your legs and feet
- Standing and walking for long periods of time increases the pressure in the veins of your lower body
- Varicose veins may be an indication for high risk of other circulatory problems
- Spider veins are smaller, red, purple and blue vessels that also twist and turn
- Dilated capillaries on the skin, resembling spider legs
- Common among younger adults
- Easily visible through the skin
- They are typically visible on the legs and face
Who is at Risk for Varicose Veins?
Increasing age is a slight risk factor for varicose veins because of wear and tear on the vein valves that regulate blood flow. Patients certainly perceive it as more common as they age because the disease has had longer to make its symptoms known and has done more damage.
A primary cause of vein disease is heredity. However, many women develop them during pregnancy. And men are just as vulnerable to varicose veins as well. Also, it is not at all unusual to find varicose veins in young adults and even teenagers who may develop varicose veins due to the activities they are involved in.
Causes of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins
Here are some factors that predispose a person to varicose veins and spider veins:
- Heredity – if a family member had varicose or spider veins, you are more likely to develop them as well
- Occupations that involve a lot of standing, such as nurses, hair stylists, teachers and factory workers
- The use of birth control pills
- Hormonal influences during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause
- Postmenopausal hormonal replacement
- A history of blood clots
- Conditions that cause increased pressure in the abdomen; such as tumors, constipation and externally worn tight garments like girdles
- Other reported potential causes include injury to the skin or trauma, previous vein surgery and exposure to ultraviolet rays
What are the Symptoms of Varicose and Spider Veins?
Varicose veins do not always cause pain. See a doctor to determine if you have varicose or spider veins. There are potential signs that you may have varicose or spider veins:
- Veins that are dark purple or blue in color
- Veins that appear twisted and bulging, like cords on the legs
- Tiredness, itching, restlessness, burning, throbbing, tingling or heaviness in the legs
- Restless leg syndrome
- Pain from these veins is usually relieved by elevating the legs or by wearing compression hose
- Slow or non-healing wounds on the legs
- In extreme cases, swelling, ulcers and a darkening of the skin, especially around the ankle region
- Symptoms may develop or worsen for women during a certain part of their menstrual period or pregnancy
- Occasionally, varicose veins can form a painful blood clot with inflammation of the vein, a condition called thrombophlebitis
What treatments does Premier Vein Specialists offer?
Depending on your diagnosis, we have comprehensive, minimally invasive approaches to treat your veins. This includes but not limited to treatments like compression therapy, sclerotherapy, or the Venefit procedure.
- Quick, minimally invasive radiofrequency energy treatment that requires no hospitalization
- The vein is closed using a special catheter inserted through a small incision below the knee
- There is very little to no pain
- Covered by most insurances
- Uses a solution injected into the veins
- Causes veins to seal off from the other veins in the leg, close over time and eventually be absorbed into the body
- For larger veins, Dr. Mathai uses ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy, allowing precise injection for best treatment results
Our refined use of sclerotherapy, combined with the Venefit procedure, allows us to meet the needs of our patients by treating the smallest spider vein to the largest rope-like varicose vein.
The great news is that neither option requires hospitalization or surgery. Instead, each is performed in a physician’s office. Patients can be back on their feet doing their day-to-day activities the same day.
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