Varicose veins are gnarled, twisted veins that become visible through the skin, most often in the legs and feet. While varicose veins are a mild cosmetic concern for some, others are more bothered by the appearance of these veins, which may also cause uncomfortable symptoms. If you’ve been living with varicose veins, here are four signs that it’s time to consider treatment.
Lifestyle Changes Aren’t Working
Certain actions can prevent the development of varicose veins and prevent affected veins from getting worse. These include embarking on a regular exercise program, losing weight if you are overweight or obese, elevating your legs with pillows when resting and not crossing them when sitting, avoiding long periods of standing, wearing compression stockings, and wearing loose clothing. If you have taken these steps but are still bothered by varicose veins, it may be time to consider treatment.
You’re Experiencing Painful Symptoms
According to The Sheen Vein Institute, discomfort associated with varicose veins can include aching, burning, throbbing, cramping, and swelling in the legs. You might also develop itching at the site of the veins or bleeding from one or more if the veins. See your doctor for varicose vein treatment if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms.
You Develop Complications
The most common complication of varicose veins is serious vascular disease. This manifests with signs of inflammation such as swelling, redness, ulcers, color changes, or hardening of the skin in the area of the vein. If this occurs, seek immediate medical attention.
You’re Bothered by the Appearance of Varicose Veins
Even if varicose veins aren’t causing any symptoms, you might opt for treatment if you don’t like the way they look.
If your varicose veins fall into one or more of these four categories, medical treatment is available. Common modalities used to close or remove varicose veins include:
- Sclerotherapy, in which a chemical is injected into the vein that closes it off, forming scar tissue that causes the vein to fade away. This is most effective for small veins and may require several treatments.
- Laser surgery, in which the vein is faded using concentrated light energy.
- Endovenous ablation therapy, in which lasers are used to close off a vein.
- Endoscopic vein surgery, usually for large veins that have caused ulcers, involves surgical closing of the vein.
- Ambulatory phlebectomy, in which varicose veins are removed through small incisions in the skin.
- Vein stripping and ligation, in which large varicose veins are tied off and removed through incisions.
If you are bothered by unsightly, uncomfortable varicose veins, medical treatment can help. In the meantime, taking the preventive steps described above can keep the veins from worsening.