Veins transport blood from the extremities back to the heart using a system of one-way valves that keep the blood flowing in the proper direction. Occasionally, though, a high amount of backward pressure can build within the vein, which can damage the integrity of the valves and result in pooling of the blood within the vein. As this happens, the vein enlarges and becomes varicose.
Signs and Symptoms of Varicose Veins
Varicose veins may or may not cause pain, but they appear blue or purple in color due to the large amount of deoxygenated blood they contain. They also frequently appear twisted and bulge above the surface of the skin. Spider veins are similar to varicose veins, but they are positioned closer to the skin and smaller. Spider veins can appear red or blue.
Varicose veins can cause physical pain, and symptoms include a heavy or aching feeling in the legs, burning, throbbing, or cramping at the vein site, and swelling in the lower legs. Sitting or standing for long periods of time can intensify these symptoms.
Vein Disease Complications
While rare, varicose veins can develop complications, including ulcers and bleeding. Long-term fluid build-up in the tissues near varicose veins can cause the development of extremely painful ulcers. The ankle area is particularly prone to the formation of venous ulcers, which usually start as a discolored spot on the skin. If you suspect you may be developing an ulcer, see your doctor immediately.
Also, varicose veins that sit close to the skin can occasionally burst. While this results in minor bleeding, there is a high risk it can happen again, so seeking medical attention is a good idea.
At Comprehensive Vein Treatment Center, we offer treatment for chronic vein disease using modern, technologically advanced methods and equipment, and our doctor is a board-certified specialist in cardiovascular surgery. For more information or to make an appointment, call our office today.