Is It Dangerous to Have Varicose Veins?

varicose-veins

If you have varicose veins, you will already know that they can be unsightly. However, don’t assume that this is the only problem with them. On some occasions, varicose veins can present more serious risks to your health.

While the risks are low, it’s important to know what they are and to make sure you see your doctor if you are concerned.

Quick Overview of Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are veins that are enlarged and swollen. They are most common on the feet and legs, and they are often lumpy and a dark blue or purple in colour. They are not the same as spider veins, which are thin and web-shaped.

Can Varicose Veins Cause Health Problems?

Varicose veins are not always dangerous. However, they do sometimes lead to other health problems, and this may be the case if they are left untreated for a number of years.

According to the NHS, they can affect how the blood flows in the veins, and this can lead to other problems. However, most people will not experience complications, and if they do, the problems usually arise a few years after the varicose veins appear.

Potential Complications of Varicose Veins

There are a few known complications of varicose veins that you should look out for. Blood Clots – Clots can form in the veins under your skin, called the superficial veins. These can cause problems like deep vein thrombosis, leading to pain and swelling in the leg. Clots could even lead to serious problems like pulmonary embolism.

Chronic Venous Insufficiency – When the blood is not flowing properly in the veins, it can cause problems with the exchange of nutrients and oxygen with the skin. If this happens for a long time, it can cause chronic venous insufficiency, and this can lead to other problems like varicose eczema.

Ulcers – Varicose veins can lead to ulcers on the legs or ankles, which can be painful.

Lipodermatosclerosis – this is a condition where your skin becomes tight and hard.

Bleeding – When the varicose veins are near the surface, they can start to bleed. It can sometimes be hard to stop the bleeding, in which case you will need to seek medical attention.

Symptoms to Watch Out For

Always see your doctor if you notice anything different about your veins, such as in their size or shape. This is especially important when you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Pain
  • Cramping
  • Swelling
  • A heavy feeling in your legs

Treatments for Varicose Veins

Treatments are available for varicose veins, and these are often not very invasive and cause little discomfort.

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Don’t Ignore Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are often nothing to worry about, but this is not always the case. As explained above, they can lead to health problems that can be serious. The important thing is to see your doctor if you think you have varicose veins, if your existing varicose veins are starting to change size or colour, or if you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above.

If you are concerned, don’t risk it – pay a visit to the doctor to get them checked out.

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