Spider Veins and Varicose Veins

Spider Veins and Varicose Veins

Large twisted blue or purplish veins visible at the skins surface are known as varicose veins. Any vein in your body can become varicose but it usually occurs in the legs and feet due to the pressure the lower body endures to keep your body upright. It is caused by the weakening of the valves and veins in your legs. Varicose veins are usually hereditary. We are also more prone to get varicose veins as we age. Symptoms include itching, burning, throbbing or cramping in the legs and around the veins. Self-care measures such as exercising, elevating your legs, and wearing compression stockings are used to ease the pain and prevent varicose veins from getting worse. If these measures dont work, see your doctor to discuss medical treatments that are available to close or remove varicose veins.

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    Varicose veins are a common problem. According to the National Institutes of Health, 50 percent of people over 50 years old have varicose veins. Varicose veins are found more in women.

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    Varicose veins are uncommon in children. Adults, particularly women, are more prone to developing varicose veins. You are more likely to develop varicose veins as you age. Individuals ages 30 to 70 are most likely to develop varicose veins. In the United States, 50 percent of people over 50 years of age have varicose veins.

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    What tests will I need to determine treatment for varicose veins?
    A doctor will begin testing with a comprehensive history and physical examination of the patient. Learn more from Johns Hopkins Medicine about varicose veins.
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    A Vascular & Interventional Radiology, answered on behalf of
    To diagnose varicose veins, a doctor will take a medical history and ask questions about symptoms, including restless legs syndrome (RLS) -- there seems to be a correlation between RLS and varicose veins. He or she will also ask how often the person needs to rest the legs and determine if varicose veins may be causing pain.


     
    The doctor will do a physical exam and look at the legs. He or she may perform a duplex ultrasound, which allows visualization of vein anatomy and flow. It is essential to make an adequate diagnosis and treatment plan. Occasionally a magnetic resonance venology (MRV) is obtained, if the reflux is predominantly left sided. May-Thurner syndrome (compression of the left iliac vein by the right iliac artery and spine) can be present and contribute to left lower extremity venous reflux.
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    Has the varicose vein become swollen, red, or very tender or warm to the touch?
    • If yes, see your doctor.
    • If no, are there sores or a rash on the leg or near the ankle with the varicose vein, or do you think there may be circulation problems in your feet?
      • If yes, see your doctor.
      • If no, continue to follow the self-care tips above.
    This answer from the National Women's Health Information Center has been reviewed and/or edited by Dr. William D. Knopf.
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    Yes, the appearance of varicose veins worsens over time. Your symptoms may not change, but the veins may be more visible. You may also develop other varicose veins. Many people pursue treatment to remove varicose veins for cosmetic reasons and to feel more comfortable about their appearance. In addition, taking preventative measures to reduce your risk such as exercising, not staying in the same position for long periods of time, and sitting with your feet elevated can be beneficial.
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    If you have a mild case of varicose veins that don't cause bothersome symptoms (aches or itching), you will not need to do anything daily. You might make some lifestyle adjustments such getting exercise, sitting with your feet up, or not standing or sitting for extended periods of time. You can make changes to your diet and lose weight if you are overweight. These will help reduce varicose veins. If your case is more severe, your doctor may suggest additional treatment options.
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    A Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered on behalf of
    Varicose veins can be a cosmetic problem, but they can also, and often, be a sign of more serious venous problems, including chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). We can define CVI with the help of ultrasound testing. In an upright position, we assess the competency of the valves in the veins. There can be leaking of the valves (blood flows towards the heart but when the valves leak the blood flows away from the heart) for up to 0.5 sec (normal). When the valves leak longer the patient is classified as having venous insufficiency. Symptoms of venous insufficiency include skin discoloration, itchiness, cramping, swelling, achiness, restless legs and pain (most venous pain occurs at rest). Conservative measures and simple office-based procedures can help with the effects of venous abnormalities on the body.

    Trinity Health is a Catholic health care organization that acts in accordance with the Catholic tradition and does not condone or support all practices covered in this site. In case of emergency call 911. This site is educational and not a substitute for professional medical advice, always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider.
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    A , Internal Medicine, answered

    Symptoms of varicose veins usually appear before the age of 40 and might include:

    - Swollen, twisted clusters of purple or blue veins
    - Swollen legs
    - Muscle cramps, soreness, or aching in the legs
    - Soreness behind the knee
    - Itching around the vein
    - Leg muscles that tire easily
    - Brown discoloration of the skin
    - Ulcers

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    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered

    Typically, spider veins are found on and around the feet, ankles, and legs, but they can also be found on the face.