Varicose veins are mainly found in the legs, however, all superficial veins can turn into varicose veins. These are dilated and twisted veins that vary in severity, as some are benign and only raise a cosmetic issue, while others can cause serious problems and cause pain and discomfort. Doctors sometimes prescribe self-care procedures to treat varicose veins, but in some cases they need to be removed before they cause serious problems. That is why you should never ignore them and ask your doctor to assess the affected area and decide on an appropriate course of action. If you have varicose veins read on as in this article we will tell you why you have varicose veins and what happens if they are left untreated.
Causes of varicose veins
Varicose veins result from lesions or weak valves and the walls of the veins. Our veins only have one-way valves where blood circulates. Usually, when the walls of the veins are less flexible and stretched, our valves weaken and in this case the blood leaks backwards and flows the other way and collects in the veins, causing them grow and swell. There are many potential causes of varicose veins, and here are just a few:
- Family history
- Standing for long periods
- Sitting for long periods of time
- Hormonal changes in women
- Jobs that require long waiting periods
When to consult a doctor
Usually, varicose veins have no complications and are not dangerous. The cases can still be different, and if you’ve tried to alleviate the symptoms by changing your lifestyle and using home remedies, but it hasn’t worked, you need to find a vein doctor to assess your condition and prescribe the treatment that is right for you. Ignoring the pain and progression of symptoms is not a good idea because sometimes the veins need to be removed by a surgeon before they can cause any real problems. The surgery is done by performing a ligation and stripping procedure.
There are other treatment options like sclerotherapy, microsclerotherapy, endoscopic surgery, laser surgery, and endovenous ablation therapy where heat and radiofrequency waves are used to block the veins. Home remedies include maintaining a healthy weight, exercise regularly, avoid standing or sitting for long hours, use compression socks, and elevate legs for sleeping or resting. There are some common symptoms of varicose veins which include:
- Bulging veins
- Blue or purple veins
- Pain in the legs
- Heavy legs
- Swollen ankles
- Leg cramps when standing
- Restless legs syndrome
- White atrophy
Complications of varicose veins
If you obstruct blood flow in any medical condition, complications can arise. As mentioned above, most cases of varicose veins do not have complications, however, it can happen. Usually, over time, varicose veins get worse, but that doesn’t mean they’ll cause medical problems unless complications arise. Better safe than sorry, and that’s why it’s best to go see your doctor and discuss it with him. the risks and treatment plans, as they will suggest different courses of action depending on the location and size of the affected veins. Below are the signs to look for that could indicate complications:
- Inflammation of the veins (thrombophlebitis).
- Chronic Venous Insufficiency – While not caused by varicose veins, the two are related. Chronic venous insufficiency can cause hard skin, varicose eczema and venous ulcers and that is why it is essential that you see a doctor if you suspect that you are suffering from chronic venous insufficiency to get a proper evaluation of your condition. state.
It is always best to see a doctor when you experience something unusual or different in your body. General practitioners can assess and identify the reason for the changes in your body and provide you with the right treatment plan. Something as minor as varicose veins, if left untreated, can lead to complications and pain. However, you can try some home remedies as a treatment and make lifestyle changes before seeing a doctor. If that doesn’t work or your symptoms get worse, it’s time to see a doctor. There are many treatment options for severe cases of varicose veins that require surgery if necessary. The right thing to do is to seek the help of a vein specialist as they have the knowledge and experience in this specific area, which makes them your best option for improving your condition. Remember that ignoring varicose veins will not make them go away. Seeking medical help can cost you a few dollars, but your health should be your top priority, and making sure everything is okay is well worth it.