Varicose veins are twisted veins that mostly occur on the feet and legs. The presence of varicose veins is usually only a cosmetic concern; however, some people may experience discomfort caused by varicose veins. Our Springfield, VA, podiatrist provides some information on varicose veins below.
How Do They Form?
Damaged or weak valves in the legs and feet can cause varicose veins to appear. As your arteries pump blood to your heart, the valves in your legs and feet must be strong enough to overcome gravity. If the muscles aren’t strong enough, blood will back up and pool in the veins.
Risk factors for varicose veins include:
- Genes. If your family has a history of varicose veins, you are more likely to develop them.
- Age. As we get older, the valves in the veins that regulate blood flow become weaker.
- Obesity. Extra weight on your veins means they have to work harder.
What Are The Symptoms?
Usually, varicose veins do not cause symptoms. They may only be noticed as dark purple or blue veins on the legs or feet. For people that do experience symptoms, they may experience some of the following:
- Aching in the legs
- Itchiness around the vein
- Muscle cramping or swelling
- Heaviness with walking
If varicose veins result in complications, they may include bleeding, ulcers, or blood clots. Complications are rare, but possible. If you have varicose veins that are painful, you should be evaluated for complications.
How Are They Treated?
Compression stockings are helpful in managing this condition. They compress your legs, which makes it easier for blood to flow. There are also treatments like sclerotherapy, an injection that scars and closes the vein. Laser therapy is another option to fade the appearance of varicose veins.
Other preventative measures include exercise, losing weight, and a healthy diet. In addition to weight loss, exercise can help improve circulation and make you less likely to develop varicose veins.
Contact Our Springfield, VA, Podiatrist To Schedule An Appointment!
The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to podiatry, feel free to contact The Podiatry Center, with convenient podiatry offices located in Springfield, VA, by calling 301.660.8225 or by clicking here.