Varicose veins develop when the veins that carry the blood from the feet, up the legs and back to the heart become weak. When they cease to function properly the blood pools in the vein, causing it to bulge and twist. When it becomes serious, it will show just under the skin and be very uncomfortable and unsightly. Symptoms of varicose veins may appear before the vein can be seen. Some of the most common symptoms are:
- Aching in the lower legs and ankles
- Severe itching without a rash
- Leg cramping especially when lying down and in the morning
- Swelling in the lower legs and ankles
- Hyperpigmentation on the feet and lower legs where the skin turns darker
Other symptoms are less common and more serious. Varicose veins are weak and close to the surface of the skin. If they are bumped or scratched, even because of itching, they can easily break and bleed. This bleeding can be very profuse and not easy to stop. It may result in a critical loss of blood if it is not treated quickly. Ulcers may also form that are very difficult to heal. Another serious symptom is blood clots that form in varicose veins. They can become large and a portion can break away and move through the vein to the lungs or heart.
There are several reasons why varicose veins develop. People who have a family history of varicose veins are at higher risk, but obesity is another condition that has a high risk. A large amount of excess weight makes the heart work harder and causes the veins to become overworked. This gradually weakens them. Veins can also become overworked if an individual sits or stands for long periods of time on a daily basis. People who have jobs that require this are at higher risk. Veins naturally weaken with age, so elderly people are at higher risk. More women also develop varicose veins than men do; this is partly due to hormonal fluctuations that pregnancy, menopause and birth control pills can cause.
If you believe you may be developing varicose veins or already have bulging veins in your legs, we recommend that you get treatment as soon as possible. When the problem is addressed early, it is more likely that simpler, minimally invasive treatments can be done rather than surgery. At Pristine Med Spa, we offer clients access to BOTOX® injections that can improve the appearance of varicose veins.
Varicose veins are a common ailment and can be unsightly and embarrassing. However, there are treatments that may remove them completely, and you may have smooth legs again. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms and are interested in exploring BOTOX® as a treatment option, contact Pristine Med Spa today. Our practice is proud to serve patients in the Ridgecrest area of California.