What Are Varicose Veins?
Spider veins and varicose veins are both forms of venous insufficiency (or venous disease), but they are not the same condition, and each condition cannot develop into the other. These two conditions are commonly mistaken for being the same vein disease. It is crucial to know the difference between these two conditions, because varicose veins can be the sign of a more serious medical issue occurring now or in the future, but spider veins, for the most part, are a cosmetic issue.
Although different conditions, both spider veins and varicose veins can appear in similar parts of the body like the legs.
What Causes Varicose Veins?
These venous diseases can both be caused by the same factors, including: genetics, age, pregnancy, excessive weight, and prolonged sitting or standing.
Some of the symptoms can include:
– Purple or blue veins
– Bulging, enlarged, or twisted veins that are like cord-like
– Fatigue and restlessness
– A heavy, burning, throbbing painful, or tingling feeling in the legs
– Achiness or cramping
– Swelling in the legs or ankles
– Ulcers or skin color changes
Who is at Risk for Developing Varicose Veins?
There are many factors that can raise your risk for developing varicose veins as this disease is very common. They can occur in men or women of any age, but varicose veins most frequently affect women in the childbearing years and older people. Varicose Veins are very common. There are certain factors that can increase a person’s tendency to develop varicose and spider veins, such as personal medical & family history. Below are four types of people who are at risk for developing varicose veins:
1) Pregnant Women
Many women first develop varicose veins as the pregnancy term progresses. As a woman’s uterus grows, it puts pressure on the large vein on the right side of the body (the inferior vena cava), which in turn increases pressure in the leg veins. To prevent or minimize varicose veins it is encouraged to exercise daily, maintain your weight & elevate your feet
2) Obesity (overweight)
People who are overweight often do not realize initially they are suffering from this disease simply because the swollen veins are not visible on the surface of the skin, due to excess fat. Obesity usually leads to having low muscle mass and a high body fat which ultimately puts an extra pressure on the veins. As time progresses, this pressure will damage the skin and its only then do they discover (after talking to a Vein Specialist) that they are prone to a leg ulceration if not treated.
3) Consistently standing On Your Feet
Individuals who work on stationary environments that requires long periods of standing may not realize that while they maybe doing something better than just sitting, too much standing in one place can also have adverse affect to the circulation within your veins. By standing upright too long, the blood supply within your muscles is reduced and those pain can occur in the muscles. This occurs when gravity pulls blood down into your legs and feet when you’re standing up or sitting down as a result puts your vein in overdrive trying to get the blood circulated back up to your heart. If you do not incorporate some type of activity (i.e. walking) in your daily schedule, you risk the possibility of your blood pooling in your legs & feet causing chronic painful varicose veins.
4) Adults Over 50
Aging causes wear and tear on the valves in the veins that help regulate blood flow. According to recent studies, almost half of all Americans over the age of 50 suffer from varicose vein related issues. So if you are over 50 and experiencing unknown pain in your legs, we recommend contacting a Vein Specialist for a vein screening.
Schedule A Vein Screening Today
Whether it’s for medical or cosmetic reasons, people seek treatment to rid themselves of painful symptoms or reduce the appearance of unsightly marks on their skin. Dr. Fakhri treats patients with varicose veins with compression therapy, endovenous ablation, microphlebectomy, VenaSeal, iliac vein stenting, and ovarian vein embolism. These treatments can reduce or remove the appearance of these varicose veins.