Written April 21, 2021Encino Vascular Institute

Varicose veins are often mentioned in the context of cosmetic discussions, but those who suffer from them know that they can be painful, uncomfortable, and potentially need medical care. 

Varicose veins are a visible sign of malfunction in your blood flow. 

That may sound scary, but not all varicose veins are worrisome. It is helpful to know when they go from imperfections to signs of a more concerning problem. 

This article is to help you discern when it might be time to seek medical attention from a vascular surgeon in Thousand Oaks, CA.

Thousand Oaks CA Vascular Surgeon

Simply put, your veins are the pathways for your blood. 

Your veins control the path and flow of blood in your body, with valves that help move things along as you go about your day. 

In your legs, where varicose veins are most common, the veins have to work overtime with the increased pressure of standing and walking. There are two systems of veins in your legs: deep and superficial. The deep veins do most of the hard work of managing your blood flow. Your superficial veins are the ones you can see, close to the surface of your skin. These are more prone to damage, and therefore the most common site for varicose veins.

Varicose veins are twisted, enlarged veins: a result of damaged valves or walls. 

Varicose veins are visibly present as bulging lines underneath your skin, with some areas that may be knotty in appearance. Sometimes the blood in the varicose veins will cause dark blue or purple discoloration in your skin. Varicose veins are visibly noticeable and can be uncomfortable or even painful.

Spider veins are similar to varicose veins, but they do not have the bulging appearance, and look more like small red or blue lines closer to the surface of your skin. Spider veins are a very mild version of varicose veins and typically do not require medical care.

Varicose veins indicate that your superficial veins have some valve or wall damage, or the valves are not functioning properly. 

If you have varicose veins, you may be wondering how you got them, and if there is anything you could have done to prevent them (or to prevent new ones). 

Varicose veins happen for a variety of reasons, the most common being genetic. You may also have damage to your veins from prior blood clots or injuries. This means that for the most part, you don’t have much control over whether or not you have varicose veins. The cause of the damage is not the main concern, rather it’s what you do next that is important.

When should you be concerned? 

If you have no painful or physical symptoms in addition to the visible signs of varicose veins, the chances are that your veins do not need to be medically treated. However, having asymptomatic veins is not a guarantee that they will not become symptomatic later, so keep an eye on them. Make sure you make note of any new symptoms that arise.

Here are some key symptoms to look out for, and reasons for a visit to your local vein doctor:

  • Tenderness or throbbing in or around the veins
  • Heaviness or an achy feeling in your legs
  • Burning sensations
  • Muscle cramping in your lower legs
  • Pain that worsens after sitting or standing for a long time
  • Itching or irritation around one or more of your veins
  • Skin discoloration around your varicose vein

If you have any of these symptoms, the best path to relief is to visit your doctor. 

There are some self-care techniques that can help alleviate symptoms of varicose veins. Helpful practices include exercise, elevating your feet while sitting, and avoiding standing or sitting for long periods of time. You might also purchase compression socks to help. These are all helpful methods to try, but they may only be a temporary solution.

If your symptoms do not change, get worse, or you are unable to consistently engage in these practices, it’s time to see the doctor.

Do You Have Concerns About Varicose Veins?

At the Encino Vascular Institute, we specialize in helping patients suffering from a wide range of vascular conditions, including varicose veins. Although both common and naturally forming over time with age, there may be other underlying or contributing factors that need to be addressed.

If you are experiencing pain, cramping, a feeling of pins and needles, restless leg syndrome and more, don’t hesitate to reach out. There is no need for you to suffer in silence when help is just a phone call or message away. 

After careful evaluation, your doctor can advise you on the best way forward, and offer clinically proven solutions to help you eliminate discomfort, reduce or eliminate the visual appearance of varicose veins, and help you live your best life. For a FREE consultation with a vascular surgeon in Thousand Oaks, CA, contact Encino Vascular Institute by calling (818) 908-9752.

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