Varicose Veins - Diagnosis & Treatment
Varicose veins are unsightly and painful, but treatment options are available. Look better and feel better in as little as one appointment!
Varicose veins are veins that are enlarged and not functioning properly. The term "varicose" means swollen. With this condition, the internal valve that regulates blood flow does not work properly, allowing blood to either pool or flow in the wrong direction.
Varicose vein diagnosis and treatment is available, discuss your concerns with varicose veins with your dermatologist.
What Are The Symptoms of Varicose Veins?
The outward signs of varicose veins are well known. Varicose veins often present as discolored, bulging veins that rise above the level of the skin. However, there are earlier symptoms of varicose veins to be aware of.
Knowing these symptoms can help to prevent the most drastic—and most visible—form of the condition:
- Achy legs
- Throbbing sensation
- Chronic itching around the vein
- Increased episodes of “Charley Horse”
- Socks leave depressed marks around the ankle or calf
- Pain during long periods of sitting or standing
- Burning sensation
- Localized skin discoloration near the vein
If you have one or more of these symptoms, don’t wait. Make an appointment with Southlake Dermatology for a consultation.
Types of Varicose Veins
Not all veins are alike. The body contains many different types of veins, which is why there are different types of varicose veins, including:
- Spider veins. People don’t usually think of spider veins as varicose veins, but in fact, the conditions that create spider veins are the same as those that lead to varicose veins. Spider veins can occur anywhere on the body, but they tend to appear where the skin is thinnest, such as on the face, behind the knees, and around the ankles. Spider veins are less sightly and the discoloration can be red or blue.
- Reticular varicose veins. Reticular varicose veins are thicker than spider veins. The discoloration may be red, greenish, or purplish-blue. They present in a wide mesh pattern and may be flush with the skin. Though they don’t bulge out, they can be unsightly.
- Saphenous varicose veins. Saphenous varicose veins occur almost exclusively in the legs. Saphenous varicose veins are swollen and they bulge out from the surface of the skin. They are often described as being “rope-like.” They are typically dark blue or purplish in color but may also be colorless. Saphenous varicose veins are what most people picture when they think of varicose veins.
What Causes Varicose Veins?
The underlying cause of varicose veins is increased blood pressure within the vein. Veins contain one-way valves that prevent blood from flowing in the wrong direction.
High blood pressure can cause these valves to fail, which allows blood to collect, rather than to continue flowing correctly.
Conditions that can lead to varicose veins include:
- Unchecked high blood pressure
- Genetic propensity
- Temporary conditions such as pregnancy, menopause, etc.
Treatment Options For Varicose Veins
When you come in to Southlake Dermatology, your dermatologist will determine what type of varicose veins you have. That determination will drive the recommended treatment options for your individual situation.
Varicose veins are highly treatable. Your dermatologist can offer a wide range of treatment options.