Many of us will experience the development of varicose veins as we get older. It is a common condition that’s not only unsightly but also potentially very uncomfortable and even painful for some people. It may lead to other health issues if not addressed.
Varicose Veins can happen throughout the body but are most common in the legs. They are simply veins of any size which become visible to the naked eye. They may be tiny (spider veins) or large (truncal veins) and can be seen under the skin either as pigmented areas or bulging texture in the skin, or both.
The condition occurs when the mechanism within the veins that prevents blood from draining or leaking backwards (i.e. the “valves”) become weakened and blood can then pool within the veins due to gravity. When these veins are superficial, they can bulge and become visible under the skin as the vein walls become stretched and malformed.
Who Develops Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins may develop at any age. 30% of adults are affected, with women experiencing this issue up to four times as often as men. They are estimated to be present in half of all women over the age of fifty.
Varicose veins more likely to be diagnosed in:
- Men and women from middle age – after about age 40.
- Women who are pregnant – after which is often resolves.
- Men and women with a strong family history of varicose veins – the condition can be inherited.
- Women who use hormonal contraception or menopausal hormone therapy (previously called hormone replacement therapy).
- Men and women who are overweight or obese.
- Men and women with sedentary jobs or lifestyles (such as office workers).
- Men or women who have previously had a blood clot or other venous damage.
- Men and women who stand for most of the day in their job.
Many people live with varicose veins without too many issues. For some, however, treatment is highly recommended or even essential.
At what point do you need to have varicose vein treatment?
6 Signs you Need Varicose Vein Treatment
- Overall Changes to the Appearance of your Legs – this may be in the form of changes to the skin itself, like pigmentation, redness, darkening, dryness, and even cracking in the skin surface. You may also notice general changes in how your legs look overall.
If you notice changes over time and you have concerns, get it checked as varicose veins may be the culprit.
- The Appearance of Unsightly, Dilated Leg Veins – while spider veins are often tiny and may not cause too much aesthetic distress for a lot of people, varicose veins that are larger (truncal veins) can be incredibly unsightly, blue and bulging, and will more likely cause other health and wellbeing complications.
- Leg Heaviness or Tiredness – varicose veins can directly cause tiredness, heaviness, and discomfort in your affected leg/s. You may also experience numbness and pain. This is exacerbated if you spend a lot of time on your feet, especially standing all day at work.
- Bleeding Issues – sometimes varicose veins may bleed. If this happens, it is more likely to become a repeat occurrence. As this bleeding may be significant, you need to see your doctor about varicose vein treatment very promptly.
- Venous Leg Ulcers – severe or advanced varicose veins can lead to the development of chronic venous leg ulcers. These are sores which recur and are very difficult to heal, and they occur most often around the ankle area. The main source of this issue is varicose veins and it requires appropriate vein treatment for it to resolve.
- Phlebitis – phlebitis is inflammation of veins. It causes the affected area to become red, hot, swollen, and hard. It may be very painful. It can occur as a result of injury to a vein and, in varicose vein sufferers, it occurs when the twisting and bulging of the vein restricts blood flow, thereby causing a blood clot to form.
Treating varicose veins will not only alleviate pain and other related health issues; it will help slow or halt their growth and provide a more attractive appearance to the legs.
Choose Crows Nest Vein Clinic for Varicose Vein Treatment
Practicing at Crows Nest Cosmetic and Vein Clinic, Dr Nicole James is a top Sydney vein specialist in the most up-to-date, minimally-invasive varicose vein treatment available. Compassionate and committed to delivering superior care for the very best outcomes for her patients, Dr James will determine and carry out the right varicose vein treatment to best suit your individual needs. All treatments undertaken in our clinic are on an outpatient basis – you walk in and walk out on the same day.