Do you think you might have a DVT? Call ourĀ  DVT & LEG HEALTH HOTLINEĀ  833-687-6887

What Causes Spider Veins and Varicose Veins?

By Colin Doyle, APRN at Vascular Vein Centers of Kissimmee

Have you had to wear long pants or skirts during the summer just to hide embarrassing spider veins or varicose veins on your legs?

Do your legs feel uncomfortable or restless and prevent you from standing or sitting comfortably?

Don’t put off having your legs evaluated. Here's why…

1) Varicose veins and spider veins don't go away on their own.

Spider veins and varicose veins develop when pressure overwhelms weakened or damaged vessels, causing them to abnormally dilate and expand. Typically, without correction, this pressure and damage will not simply go away and unattractive bulging veins will persist.

The exception to this rule is veins that develop during pregnancy. These veins may improve 6 to 12 months after delivery, however, these veins have been strained and the condition will often return with time.

2) Symptoms will get worse over time

As pressure increases and vessels expands, pressure is placed on surrounding vessels. This increased pressure results in further dilation of vessels or the development and extension of more varicose veins and spider veins. What more, with time these vessels can start leaking causing swelling (edema) and place pressure on surrounding tissues causing pain (venous pain). 

3) Without treatment, veins can cause permanent discoloration of the skin and other visible changes 

If veins are left untreated, damaged vessels can cause chronic skin changes which may never completely go away. Increased pressure and dilation of vessels can lead to skin inflammation (venous eczema), brown discoloration (hemosiderin or post inflammatory hyperpigmentation), thickening and hardening of the skin (lipodermatosclerosis), deformity of the legs (bottle neck deformity), large sores (venous ulceration), and scars (atrophic blanche).

What's more, chronic swelling associated with venous insufficiency can overwhelm and damage the lymphatic system, resulting in the development of phlebolymphedema. Phlebolymphedema can cause swelling to extend into the feet, making it more difficult for you to wear shoes and increasing the risk for falls and skin infections.

4) Early treatment can save time and money

 Again, veins are typically considered a progressive condition which without early treatment, get worse over time. Uncontrolled, pressure and dilation may extend into surrounding vessels, causing further damage which would require more procedures to correct and result in more time and money for treatment.

5) Varicose veins increase the risk of developing a blood clot

 As varicose veins developed, they become enlarged and twisted. These vessels don't transport blood back to the heart as they are supposed to. Instead, the blood can stagnate and possibly coagulate or form clots. These clots can extend into the vein inside the muscle and there, potentially dislodge and become an embolism. This embolism can potentially go to the lungs (pulmonary embolism) or to the brain (embolitic stroke).

 In the lungs, the embolism can block blood flow and impair the oxygenation of blood which could result in a myocardial infarction or heart attack as the body tries to compensate. In the brain, the embolism can obstruct blood flow to vital and sensitive areas. These areas can become hypoxic and result in a cerebral vascular accident or stroke.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Medicare Open Enrollment – The Basics

October 15th through December 7th each year is the annual Medicare Open Enrollment period. Making a mistake in choosing the best plan for you could impact your healthcare and its cost for the rest of your life!

How to Manage Leg Swelling During Your Pregnancy

Leg swelling is a common experience for pregnant women, especially in the third trimester. Find out how you can manage this uncomfortable problem and alleviate your symptoms as your due date draws near.

Is It Safe to Travel with Painful Varicose Veins?

Long-distance travel and varicose veins are two major risk factors for deep vein thrombosis (DVT), or the formation of dangerous blood clots. Find out how varicose veins and DVT are related, and learn how you can protect yourself when traveling.

VVC is an IAC Accredited VEIN CENTER

IAC accreditation is the "seal of approval" patients can count on! VVC has demonstrated a commitment to quality patient care in the field of venous treatment and management.

Itchy Skin from Vein Disease: What You Need to Know

Varicose veins aren’t the only consequence of chronic venous insufficiency, or poor circulation in the lower legs. Learn how this common form of vein disease can lead to swelling and skin changes, and find out why early treatment is so important.

8 Things That Can Trigger DVT

As the third most common vascular disease after heart attack and stroke, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) affects hundreds of thousands of people each year. Learn which factors can increase your risk of developing this dangerous and often silent disorder.