Varicose veins are one of the most common plights experienced by adults, with one out of every five adults having them at some point in their life. While these veins do not generally lead to significant health issues, they can cause severe discomfort as well as a lack of confidence due to their appearance.
Varicose veins are twisted, enlarged veins that appear underneath the skin. While varicose veins can appear anywhere in the body, they are usually found in the legs. Often, varicose veins can be unsightly and even painful.
Whether or not your varicose veins cause discomfort, it is important to know if you have them or not. Signs you might have varicose veins include:
Your veins aredark purple or bluein color
The veins appeartwisted and bulging—they almost look like rope or a chord
Your legs feelheavy or achyfrequently
You experience frequentburning, throbbing, cramping or swellingin your lower legs
Yourdiscomfort increases after sitting or standing stillfor a long time
The areas around your veinitch
Skin discolorationis visible around the vein
So, what exactly causes these veins? Before we get into what they actually are, let’s talk about the function a normal, healthy vein should perform.
Our legs, like the rest of our body, have both visible veins and veins that run deep under the skin surface. When acting as they should, the deep veins in our legs carry oxygen-poor blood to the heart so more oxygen can be added. Leg muscles do this in your legs and squeeze the deep veins as you walk, using gravity to push blood upwards. The superficial veins, on the other hand, transport blood from your skin, fat tissueandmuscles to the deep veins.
Varicose veins are typically caused by valves in the superficial veins that stop working correctly. This causes blood to build up within the veins, giving them an enlarged, twisted appearance, thanks to weakened vein walls.
Factors that Increase Chances of Varicose Veins
Sometimes the genetic lottery does not work in our favor. Here are some of the most common factors that increase your risk of developing varicose veins.
Age. Aging causes wear and tear on the body, including the valves in your veins that regulate your blood flow.
Gender. Women are more likely to develop varicose veins thanks to everyone’s favorite friend—hormones! Hormonal changes during times such as pregnancy and menopause produce hormones that relax vein walls. Additionally, hormone treatments like birth control pills can also increase your risk of varicose veins.
Pregnancy. Outside of just the hormonal state, pregnancy dramatically increases the volume of blood within your body. This supports the growing fetus but can cause the unfortunate side effect of varicose veins.
Family genetics. Your family has likely given you a great number of genetic gifts, but varicose veins are one present we wish could be returned. Chances are, if your family members have had varicose veins, you will too.
Obesity. Being overweight adds pressure on your veins.
A sedentary lifestyle. Your chances of getting varicose veins are higher if you frequently sit or even stand in one place for long periods. As you probably know, blood doesn’t flow well when you are in the same position for long periods of time.
Microphlebectomy, also known as ambulatory phlebectomy, is the removal of varicose veins in the leg with surgery. Veins are flexible and collapse easily, and even some large veins can be removed through small nicks in the skin. Microphlebectomy is often done to complement endovenous laser ablation and radiofrequency ablation. Microphlebectomy can not only offer symptomatic relief, but also help make you feel more comfortable in the appearance of your legs.
Check out our 3D ANIMATION VIDEO on LASER VEIN REMOVAL
What if I don't know if I have Varicose Veins?
Knowing which treatment to choose requires a knowledgeable, empathetic professional. Often, a combination of treatments is employed rather than a single option. If you are local to the DFW area, choose the best vein doctor in Dallas—our very own Dr. Giraldo. We are located in the Frisco area, with excellent access to all of North Texas including Southlake, Allen, PlanoandMcKinney.