Varicose veins are large, bulging veins that form on the surface of the skin when the blood collects in a weakened section of a blood vessel. They often appear blue or purple and are considered ropier and darker than spider veins. While most people consider varicose veins – and spider veins – a cosmetic problem, they can cause uncomfortable symptoms like leg pain, burning sensations, restless legs, cramping, and itching. They can also increase your risk of other serious medical conditions if left untreated. These complications can threaten your life and are the reason you should seek Upper East Side varicose veins treatment. They include the following.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
Varicose veins are characterized by weakened valves that prevent blood from flowing as it should within your veins. Sometimes, this disrupted blood flow can cause blood clots to form in the veins, resulting in a medical condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). The exact link between DVT and varicose veins is unclear, but medical experts confirm that the two are related. In fact, about 20 percent of people with varicose veins develop blood clots. These are dangerous because they pose the risk of embolization. If the clots break away from the vein and travel to the lung, they could endanger your life.
Venous Insufficiency and Ulcers
An extended period of disrupted blood flow in the veins can compromise how oxygen, nutrients, and waste products are transferred and processed across the body. Over time, this situation can lead to chronic venous insufficiency, which then increases your risk of other medical complications. Venous leg ulcers, for instance. This is the most severe form of chronic venous insufficiency, accounting for 7 in every 10 chronic leg wounds. Usually, it is caused by too much pressure exerted on the leg veins. Venous leg ulcers can be painful, easy to bleed, and difficult to heal.
If you bump or scratch your leg, the blood pooling in varicose veins can cause you to bleed excessively. The bleeding is also often difficult to stop, and you may need to apply a lot of direct pressure to get it under control. In this situation, it is best to seek immediate medical assistance, especially if the bleeding does not stop. Uncontrolled bleeding can endanger your life.
Varicose veins are also associated with several skin complications. The most common is varicose eczema, which causes scaly, flaky, red skin, crusts, and blisters, around the affected veins. Sometimes, the skin around the vein may darken and itch due to an inflammation problem called venous stasis. However, the most serious skin condition related to varicose veins is lipodermatosclerosis, which leads to irreversible tightening and hardening of the skin.
Also called thrombophlebitis, phlebitis is a vein inflammation disease often characterized by the formation of tender and hard clots in the veins. It is different from DVT and, thankfully, less severe and life-threatening. Nonetheless, it can cause uncomfortable symptoms like warm skin, reddening, swelling, and pain around the inflamed vein.
Don’t Ignore Varicose Veins
Statistics show that more than a third of Americans develop varicose veins. Usually, a large portion of these people do not develop complications and only seek treatment for cosmetic reasons. However, varicose veins can also have serious, uncomfortable, painful, and even life-threatening effects on your health and life. This is why you should always discuss them with a specialist. They can advise you on how best to proceed and what treatments, if any, you may require. To learn more, call a vascular specialist today.