Especially with the effects of gravity or long periods of sitting or standing in one place, the veins in your leg can quickly become twisted, swollen, and a prominent bulge outward against the skin. Once the veins become swollen, visible on the surface, or twisted, they are considered “varicosed.”
Generally, varicose veins are either caused by the twisting and compression of the veins or when the valves that control the direction of blood flow in the veins stop working. Depending on the severity, it can lead to significant discoloring or bulging of the veins. Although varicose veins generally pose cosmetic issues, they may cause other health issues or be a warning sign for other cardiovascular concerns if left untreated.
Varicose veins are pretty standard. Although there are no specific causes, several risk factors can increase the likelihood of their appearance and how noticeable they will become. These include age, family history, obesity, and others. However, everyone is susceptible to varicose veins without having these risk factors.
Since they are so common, treatments have become safe and very effective. Although it requires the care of a doctor, ignoring varicose veins and accepting them as just a cosmetic issues can lead to many other health issues.
On the minor end of the spectrum, untreated varicose veins can continue to grow and lead to ulcers on the skin as the veins cause the layer of skin above them to strain. These can be very painful and difficult to treat thoroughly. If the bulging in the vein becomes too much for the vein wall to contain, bleeding under the skin can occur if the wall ruptures.
Of all the potential issues of untreated varicose veins, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is likely the most serious and the one to watch. Although rare, severe varicose veins have been known to cause blood clots in the leg. These can become dislodged and travel to your lungs, causing difficulty breathing and even death.
If you have varicose veins, treating them may only be a cosmetic procedure. However, it takes the expert eye of a vein specialist to know if they may be causing other health issues. Contact Dr. Lee and the LA Vein Center in Sherman Oaks, CA, to schedule a vein consultation. The office can be reached at 818-245-5300 or www.laveincenter.com.