Home Health Varicose and Spider Veins: How...

Varicose and Spider Veins: How They Can Affect You

Spider veins generally do not suggest health problems but dealing with them can be quiet the nightmare. In some instances, individuals may experience burning or itching over the site. In rare cases, poor circulation might be hidden deep within the leg, which causes the materialization of more serious symptoms.

Aching discomfort, pain and throbbing may accompany the presence of varicose veins. The lack of proper circulation in these larger vessels may progress to more serious health issues that require the care of a physician:

  • Skin ulcers or sores may erupt from the pressure of the pooling blood. The lesions are often painful and difficult to heal. Sometimes, healing may not occur until the underlying vessel damage is corrected.
  • Bleeding is a possibility, particularly in older people when the skin over varicosities becomes fragile and compromised. Injury to the vessel below may cause substantial bleeding.
  • Superficial thrombophlebitis refers to a blood clot formation in a vein that lies just beneath the skin. The site becomes inflamed, tissues swell, turn red and feel warm to the touch.
  • Deep vein thrombosis is a clot formation in deeper veins. When this occurs, pinching or pulling is generally felt in the calf area. The calf may also swell, turn red and feel warm. If left untreated, clots can break free and travel to the heart, lungs or brain causing serious injury or death.
  • Rashes appear on the leg or on the ankle area.
  • The skin over the ankle or calf areas thickens and darkens.
  • The pain or discomfort experienced in one or both legs interferes with daily function. Pain typically represents a more serious problem requiring medical intervention.
  • The presence of unsightly veins causes emotional and psychological distress.

Varicosity Treatment Options

Varicose and spider veins are treated in many different ways in order to improve general appearance, prevent possible complications or to alleviate symptoms.

  • Compression stockings apply pressure along the leg, which encourages blood movement toward the heart.
  • Sclerotherapy involves injecting a solution into the vein, which seals the vessel and forces blood to find an alternate route.

Laser Treatments

Laser treatments are effective for surface and deep vein elimination. Bursts of laser light can be applied through the skin to the affected surface vessel or directly into a vein via catheterization. The laser heats and destroys the tissue on contact, which causes the vessel to collapse and close. Blood flow is then automatically redirected to healthy vessels.

Depending on the size and location of the vessel, multiple treatments may be needed for optimal results.

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