Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Facts About Varicose Veins by Meredi Wagner-Hoehn

Varicose veins, while considered unattractive and potentially uncomfortable, are not uncommon in the United States. Most women and many men will discover at least one varicose vein on their person at some point in their lives.

What Are Varicose Veins?

These blue or purple spindly snakes are engorged veins which typically project out of the leg. Although a varicose vein can develop anywhere on the body, they generally appear on feet and legs – most particularly, the inside of the legs or the back of the calves. This occurs because walking and standing propels pressure into the lower extremities, increasing the tension in those veins.

Varicose veins not only affect self-esteem levels; other symptoms include itchiness, heaviness and pain in the area of the vein. They can also initiate more serious leg conditions such as skin discoloration, vein inflammation, bleeding, skin ulcers and blood clots.

What Causes Varicose Veins?

Currently, there’s no absolute knowledge as to what directly causes varicose veins to form. However, a number of contributing factors have been identified.

Weight. People suffering from obesity experience varicose veins more frequently than healthier people because the excess weight increases the pressure already flowing into the leg veins.

Age. The older you are, the more likely it is that your veins will act incorrectly.

Sex. Women tend to develop varicose veins more frequently than men, likely due to hormonal imbalances in menstruation and menopause.

Pregnancy. During pregnancy, a woman’s blood volume increases, but the blood flow from the legs lessens. It’s organically necessary to allow the baby to develop, but it does allow varicose veins to occur more easily.

Heredity. If your family has a history of varicose veins, you’re more likely to have them.

Inactivity. When you stand or sit for an extended period of time, the blood flow stagnates because the muscles are still. When they aren’t contracting, they aren’t properly driving the blood.

What Can I Do About It?

First, you need a duplex ultrasound evaluation, a history and a physical to better understand your specific vein condition. Sometimes, varicose veins hidden below the surface are affecting the visible veins. An ultrasound lets your Austin cosmetic dermatologist explore your specific skin condition, discovering the best treatment for you.

Call Zimmet Vein & Dermatology today to schedule a consultation and ultrasound evaluation.