Have you noticed achiness in your legs, coupled with what look like twisted, bulging veins protruding from the skin? Those are varicose veins, and they are common among men and women throughout the world. Varicose veins take place for a variety of reasons, without a singular cause, but they have been linked to genetic predisposition to vein disorders, obesity, as well as poor circulation due to pregnancy or standing for long periods of time. Regardless of the cause of varicose veins, their presence can lead to both cosmetic concerns and broader health issues when they are not managed properly.
According to a vein specialist in the UK, varicose veins take place when the vein walls break down over time. Blood is not allowed to flow correctly throughout the body, and so it pools and creates bulging veins, most commonly found in the legs. These broken veins appear as dark purple or blue twists that are visible beneath the skin, and when left untreated, often lead to heaviness in the legs, pain and discomfort that comes and goes, and itchiness where the veins are impacted. If you’ve recently noticed these vein issues on your legs, or spider veins that have not yet bulged or twisted, you may be wondering what your next steps should be. For most, consulting a medical professional is the first necessary step toward treating varicose veins in the right way.
Consult Your Doctor
Your first line of defense against worsening varicose veins is to consult a specialist in vein disorders or another member of the medical profession. During this initial consult, bring up your concerns about varicose veins, even if they have yet to cause painful symptoms. Even if varicose veins seem like just a cosmetic woe, they can become uncomfortable over time. Your doctor or specialist will examine the area where varicose veins appear, checking for the severity of the vein problem. This examination is combined with a complete medical history and questions about the symptoms you may have experienced as a result of your varicose veins.
For those who have severe varicose veins, surgical treatment is often recommended. Fortunately, surgical procedures to treat varicose veins are minimally invasive and do not require significant recovery time. In most cases, this type of intervention will help seal up broken veins so the blood can flow properly from the legs to the heart. This does not necessarily mean new varicose veins will not appear in the future, but treatment can lend a necessary hand in eliminating current vein issues.
When varicose veins are causing uncomfortable symptoms, such as leg swelling, achiness, or other pain, at-home remedies may be prescribed while one awaits surgical intervention. At-home remedies can include a variety of treatments, the most common involving compression therapy. Wearing compression stockings helps improve circulation in the legs throughout the day and night, easing some of the discomforts that can come with varicose veins. Compression alone will not eliminate vein issues, but adding this routine at home can help alleviate the symptoms.
In addition to compression, vein specialists may also recommend increasing physical activity but with a focus on low-impact exercises. Swimming, light jogging, and walking can all help boost blood flow and keep weight at a healthy level. Elevation of the legs may also be suggested, as bringing the legs above the heart can assist in circulation. Any combination of these steps can ease varicose vein symptoms, but they do not act as a replacement for treatment.
Preparing for Treatment
When varicose veins are mild to severe, surgical treatment is often recommended. The most common and effective treatment involves endovenous laser therapy, or EVLT. Through this procedure, a vein specialist uses laser treatments to seal off faulty veins from inside the leg, without an incision and under only local anaesthesia. EVLT takes a short amount of time, and it produces no scarring, minimal bruising, and faster recovery time than other treatment options. There is not much to do in preparation for EVLT treatment for varicose veins, and no overnight stay at the hospital is required.
If you have varicose veins and are concerned about the long-term impact they may have on your life, consulting with your doctor is the first step toward treating the problem. Using at-home remedies while waiting for treatment is the best plan for easing symptoms. Ultimately, to ensure varicose veins don’t cause long-term pain or more serious medical conditions, getting surgical treatment to seal varicose veins is often the best course of action.