Varicose veins are often considered unsightly, and for certain individuals they’re usually flagged for cosmetic treatment.
Varicose veins, along with spider veins, are highly visible veins usually stemming from venous insufficiency–an issue where your veins are unable to send blood back to the heart properly.
But varicose veins can actually be worse than just a cosmetic issue. They can be indicative of deeper venous issues, including Deep Vein Thrombosis.
Both varicose veins and spider veins can be unsightly. While varicose veins are large bulging veins, purple or blue, spider veins are clusters of smaller veins.
Both are often treated with sclerotherapy, but varicose veins are much more indicative of greater risk.
Why is that? It all boils down to the types of veins in the body. There are deep veins, superficial veins, and perforating veins. While spider veins indicate insufficiency in the superficial veins, varicose veins indicate insufficiency in the deep veins.
Hence, the risk for Deep Vein Thrombosis–a serious issue which can cause all kinds of medical issues, including shortness of breath, coughing, and could even lead to blood clotting and pulmonary embolisms.
Varicose veins aren’t a sure sign that you have Deep Vein Thrombosis. Whereas spider veins are almost entirely a medical issue, varicose veins can indicate something serious like DVT.
And while it might be worth getting varicose veins checked out by the doctor, other signs that may point to more serious issues are restless legs, swelling, achy legs, or even ulcers appearing on the legs.
It may also be worth getting checked out if you’re in a risky population: if you’re older, are pregnant, obese, smoke, or use birth control pills.
For additional information on varicose veins, please call the Vein Center of Maryland to schedule an appointment.