What are Varicose Veins?
Arteries bring blood from the heart to the extremities, veins channel blood back to the heart. Veins have one-way valves that allow the blood to return efficiently to the heart and prevent backwards flow or reflux.
Causes of Varicose and Spider Veins
Genetic predisposition is probably the most important contributing factor in causing varicose and spider veins with estimates that 10% of men and 20% of women suffer from the condition. Hormonal factors including pregnancy, birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy may play a large role in development and worsening of vein problems. Other predisposing factors include aging, prolonged standing, obesity, or leg trauma.
Signs and Symptoms Signs and Symptoms
Spider veins are primarily a cosmetic nuisance but may cause burning itching and throbbing. Varicose veins while also unattractive are often associated with leg pain, heaviness, cramping, fatigue, and restlessness.
Varicose veins in their most severe forms can adversely affect the nutrition of the skin and cause eczema, inflammation, chronic discolorations and ulceration of the skin.
There are several adverse consequences of untreated varicose veins, and their severity will vary from person to person depending on the circumstances. Many people who don’t treat their varicose veins will experience continued symptoms of pain, fatigue and swelling of the legs or ankles. More advanced medical problems may include hyperpigmentation, lipodermosclerosis, venous leg ulcers, spontaneous bleeding, superficial thrombophlebitis, and a potentially life-threatening condition called deep vein thrombosis.
If you have additional questions or concerns please email us to book an appointment and discuss your concerns in person.
For additional information, please also visit the Canadian Society of Phlebology website