More than 23% of adults have varicose veins. Many do not consider this to be a serious medical condition. While some varicose veins are, others can also signal the presence of something potentially harmful, or even fatal. Read below to find out more about why varicose veins should be treated, as well as other things you need to know.

1. Varicose veins and spider veins are not the same.

Valves ensure that blood flows in one direction until it reaches the heart. When veins on the legs inevitably start to deteriorate and lose their elasticity, valves might suffer some damage, as well. When this occurs, blood starts to flow back and pool in the leg, which causes varicose veins.

But not all leg veins are created the same.

When blood pools in the legs, two types of damaged veins appear. True varicose veins appear as bulging, ropy, and abnormal-looking veins. When these appear, they are usually accompanied by pain and signal something that can be potentially dangerous.

Meanwhile, spider veins are smaller blood vessels that also appear dark-colored but are usually less troublesome. They do not cause any medically important symptoms but are still removed by many for cosmetic reasons.

2. Not all varicose veins are permanent.

Pregnancy can also trigger the appearance of varicose veins on the legs. Hormonal changes to the body, followed by the increased circulation of blood to take care of the baby, can cause dilation of the veins, which manifest as varicose veins. However, these are often not too serious and in some cases can go away on their own within a few months.

3. Varicose veins can still be prevented or delayed.

Cases of spider and varicose veins are more common than you might think. One risk factor is the age where blood vessels lose elasticity and retain blood, which causes veins to dilate. Other risk factors include obesity, genetics, and continuously sitting or standing. While factors such as age and genetics cannot be avoided, preventive measures can still be applied to the others. All you need to do is proper diet, exercise, and avoiding standing or sitting in one position for long periods of time and wear compression stockings if one of your parents have been diagnosed with varicose veins.

4. Some warning signs should not be ignored.

When experiencing any of the following symptoms, it is important that you seek immediate medical treatment to avoid more serious problems in the future:

● Hyperpigmentation, or abnormal discoloration, of the lower leg and ankle.
● Thickening or hardening of the skin around the area where the vein is swollen, which may look similar to eczema.
● Skin ulcer, or a sore that appears red and contains pus, that is not caused by an injury.

These signs may be a signal that a blood clot is present, which can be fatal when the blood clots break off and end up in the lungs.

5. There are many treatment options available.

You should not have to endure the pain or the risk of having varicose veins on your legs. There are numerous treatment options that can alleviate symptoms, or ultimately remove varicose veins to restore your legs to full health. Talk to your medical health professional to know your options.

Chicago Vein Care Centers offer you a free consultation with ultrasound to diagnose your varicose and spider vein problems. We treat varicose veins with endovenous laser ablation and varithena and spider veins with sclerotherapy and superficial laser. Please call 847 983 0445 to schedule your consultation.