Do you have varicose veins? Diagnosing them is pretty easy, actually. They’re the turgid, engorged looking veins of various colors that appear on your body. These aren’t to be confused with spider veins, which have a clustered and webby appearance.
If varicose veins are primarily a cosmetic issue for you, and you want to get rid of them, then the diagnosis ends there: if you see them and don’t like the look of them, you might consider getting rid of them.
But for those who are worried about underlying health conditions, it can be a bit trickier.
Varicose veins can be problematic because they could put to a deeper problem: venous insufficiency. Spider veins are not as problematic, because they’re generally a simply cosmetic issue without many of the accompanying symptoms of venous insufficiency.
What causes varicose veins and spider veins, essentially, is weakness of the veins pumping blood back to the heart because of damaged valves. Blood backflows and pools — hence the engorged appearance of the veins.
In the case of varicose veins, the backflow can be chronic enough that it can cause other issues, primarily in the legs. This includes a burning and achy feeling and, if more serious, the backflow can eventually cause skin ulcers to develop.
There are many treatment options available, depending on the severity of your symptoms. If your varicose veins aren’t causing you serious issues but you have achy feet or legs, you might consider using compression garments or elevating your feet. These help improve circulation.
If it’s more serious, you might consider laser vein treatment or sclerotherapy. Both these procedures collapse the vein in upon itself and reroute blood through a better route of circulation.
If you want to know more, call the Vein Center of Maryland to schedule an appointment. We are conveniently located in Westminster, Eldersburg, Baltimore, Hunt Valley and Bel Air.
We also service Ellicott City and Columbia in Howard County.