When to Fear About Varicose Veins

October 21, 2022 0 Comments

Medically reviewed by: Luke Maj, MD

Twisted, rope-like, bulging, lumpy — even the outline of varicose veins isn’t fairly. However are varicose veins harmful, or are they only a beauty problem you’ll be able to safely ignore? Right here, a vein specialist at Water’s Edge Dermatology explains when to fret about varicose veins and why it’s sensible to get an analysis.

What causes varicose veins?

These enlarged veins seem when the valves within the veins don’t work correctly. When the valves are in good situation, the veins do their job, which is to hold blood again to the center. If the valves turn out to be weakened or broken, blood swimming pools within the veins, inflicting them to swell, bulge and switch purple or blue. Varicose veins can develop anyplace, however they most frequently develop within the legs. That’s as a result of leg veins must struggle gravity to get blood all the way in which as much as the center. 

Are varicose veins harmful?

Varicose veins aren’t essentially harmful, however they’ll turn out to be harmful. Listed below are a number of the potential issues related to varicose veins. 

Deep vein thrombosis

Folks with varicose veins have an elevated threat of creating blood clots within the deep veins of the legs, a situation referred to as deep vein thrombosis, or DVT. Within the worst-case situation, a clot can break off and journey to the lungs. A clot that blocks blood circulate to a part of the lung, referred to as a pulmonary embolism, might be deadly.

DVT requires instant medical care. When you have leg swelling and calf ache, or your pores and skin is purple and heat to the contact, name your physician instantly. 


A second potential complication is a clot that kinds within the slow-flowing blood of a varicose vein and causes in depth redness and/or irritation of the pores and skin over the vein, in addition to ache. The ache could also be extreme sufficient that even the sunshine stress of clothes is an excessive amount of to bear. 

Pores and skin adjustments

When you have extreme varicose veins and don’t get them handled, over time chances are you’ll develop robust, thickened pores and skin with brown discolorations.   

Leg ulcers

Some individuals with extreme varicose veins expertise extra severe issues, together with leg ulcers, which might be extraordinarily painful and onerous to deal with.

The function of power venous insufficiency

Varicose veins could also be brought on by an issue with the veins that needs to be handled.

“Many individuals don’t understand that varicose veins may end up from an underlying situation referred to as power venous insufficiency,” mentioned Luke Maj, MD, an interventional radiologist and director of The Vein Middle at Water’s Edge Dermatology. CVI develops on account of dysfunctional valves, a blood clot within the leg or an harm to the vein.

“Persistent venous insufficiency typically will get worse over time and might finally cut back your high quality of life,” mentioned Dr. Maj. Early therapy can assist forestall leg ulcers and relieve heaviness, aching, leg cramps and different signs. 

When to hunt varicose vein therapy

Many individuals need to know how one can do away with varicose veins as a result of they don’t like how they appear, however therapy may also enable you really feel higher and cut back the danger of issues. 

“Leg ache or heaviness could cause individuals to cease exercising, which is dangerous for total well being and might exacerbate vein circumstances,” mentioned Dr. Maj. In case your veins are painful, your legs ache or itch or you will have leg swelling or sores, see a vein specialist for analysis. If you happen to expertise a sudden improve in leg ache or swelling, see a physician instantly. 

Docs have a wide range of methods to deal with varicose veins, from compression remedy to  minimally invasive procedures that shut defective veins or trigger them to break down. 

“Treating varicose veins is way much less invasive than it was up to now, when vein stripping was extra widespread,” mentioned Dr. Maj. Vein stripping requires anesthesia and a hospital keep. “Right now, generally, sufferers might be handled within the workplace and resume their regular actions the identical day.”

Minimally invasive procedures embrace laser therapy, radiofrequency ablation (which makes use of warmth to shut the vein), VenaSeal (through which a glue-like substance is inserted into the vein through a catheter) and sclerotherapy, through which an irritant answer is injected. As soon as varicose veins are closed, the blood will reroute via more healthy veins.

Make an appointment with a vein specialist at Water’s Edge Dermatology’s Vein Middle right this moment.


Written by: Jessica Brown, a well being and science author/editor based mostly in Nanuet, New York. She has written for Prevention journal, jnj.com, BCRF.org, and lots of different retailers.

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