What are Varicose Veins?

As people age, their veins may begin to lose their elasticity and their valves may become inefficient, which may lead to varicose veins. This is a potentially painful condition that may be embarrassing for some patients because of the ugly, bulging appearance of the veins. Treatment may vary depending on the diagnosis of spider veins or varicose veins.

Causes of Varicose Veins

This venous condition may be caused by the loss of elasticity in the veins. This could lead to inefficient blood flow, as the valves may allow blood to flow backwards in the legs. As this happens, blood begins to pool, causing the veins to expand.

Pregnancy may also lead to varicose veins, as the larger volume of blood in the body, combined with the disruption of blood flow between the pelvic region and the legs may lead to inefficient circulation. Varicose veins may become worse in the later stages of pregnancy when the uterus puts more pressure on the legs. Varicose veins that are caused by pregnancy usually resolve themselves after the mother gives birth.

Symptoms of Varicose Veins

Common symptoms of varicose veins include pain, discomfort and/or heaviness in the legs. Some patients may notice itching around the veins, as well as swelling, cramping and throbbing. Patients who experience pain associated with varicose veins should seek medical assistance in relieving the condition.

Spider veins may not be considered a medical concern, although both spider veins and varicose veins may cause cosmetic concerns for some patients. Because treatment for spider veins is often considered cosmetic, many insurance carriers do not cover it.

Treatment for varicose veins that cause pain or other similar symptoms is often deemed medically necessary and is usually covered by insurance carriers.

Treating Varicose Veins

Surgery was the standard treatment for varicose veins for many years, although with the emergence of minimally- and non-invasive treatments, surgical procedures such as vein stripping and ligation are becoming less common. Many physicians and vein specialists may still recommend surgical procedures, however; so consulting with a trained vein specialist is important.

Endovenous laser ablation, sclerotherapy, ambulatory phlebectomy, VNUS, radiofrequency occlusion and various laser treatments are minimally- or non-invasive treatments for varicose veins. Many others may also be available.

As each case of varicose veins may differ, and each patient is different, consulting a trained specialist to determine treatment options is strongly encouraged. While SkinCareGuide.com features several articles dedicated to helping patients find information relating to varicose veins, the best resource for information is a vein specialist.

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