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When are Varicose Veins More than Just a Cosmetic Concern?

You may have varicose veins or noticed them on someone else — those swollen and twisted veins that appear larger and more visible than the others. They can cause embarrassment and prevent someone from ever wearing shorts again, but they can also signal more serious health issues. Our vein specialists at Hamilton Vascular in Webster, Sugar Land, Round Rock, and San Antonio, Texas, share these tips about what to look for and when to come in for medical treatment.

What are varicose veins?

Varicose veins are normal veins that become enlarged, engorged, and twisted. They’re caused by faulty valves that allow the blood to pool in the vein instead of moving forward, causing the vein to bulge. They may appear red, blueish, or even purple. People who are overweight, sit or stand a lot, are pregnant, or have a family history of varicose veins may get them more often than others who don’t have these risk factors.

Prevention

The best way to prevent varicose veins is to stay active with walking, running, hiking, biking, or swimming, to eat nutritiously, and to maintain a healthy body weight. If you do develop varicose veins, try resting and elevating your legs after walking or standing for a long time, or wearing compression stockings.

Are varicose veins dangerous?

Many times, varicose veins are only a cosmetic concern. You may not even realize you have one until you catch sight of it while dressing or taking a shower. Other people have symptoms like itchiness, swelling, and heavy or tired legs, especially after a long day. If any of these symptoms are bothersome to you, we can help. There’s no reason to suffer when so many treatment options are available.

However, varicose veins can signal serious underlying health conditions. For example, people with varicose veins may have poor blood circulation. They could also have blood clots in other veins. If a blood clot breaks free, it could travel to the lungs and be life-threatening. These veins need medical attention.

What to look for

Watch for pain and swelling, discolored skin, varicose veins that bleed, and any open sores on your skin. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s time to come in for a consultation. One of our vein specialists will talk to you about your overall health, conduct a physical exam, and order tests like an ultrasound to diagnose any problems you may have. 

We offer a variety of minimally invasive treatments for varicose veins, including:

If you’re ready to seek treatment for your varicose veins, or you think you may have a more serious condition, make an appointment with one of our vascular specialists at any of our locations by calling 281-201-6988 today.

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