Varicose Veins Facts That You Need to Know

Varicose Veins Facts That You Need to Know

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If you’ve made your way to the Vein Clinics of America website, chances are good you have a bit of an idea of what varicose veins are. You know, those often unsightly veins that may be on your legs?

If you don’t know much about varicose veins beyond the fact that you don’t want them, then you are in the right place. Also, if you do know a bit about varicose veins, we are sure you’ll learn a lot more after reading this post.

In this blog, we are going to cover some key facts you should know about varicose veins. Whether you have varicose veins, know someone else who does, or want to prevent getting them later in life, there is information here for you. With one in every five adults in the U.S. suffering from varicose veins, this is a problem that should not be ignored.

Vein facts: 7 facts about varicose veins

1. What causes varicose veins?

Do you remember learning about gravity in school? Well, thanks to gravity, the veins in your legs have to work harder.

Your circulatory system consists of arteries and capillaries in your body which take blood from your heart and disperse it throughout the rest of your body, and it’s the job of your veins to send that blood back to your heart.

It’s almost like a giant recycling system. But, because the veins in your legs are working against gravity, there is more strain put on them. And, if those veins are damaged or weakened in any way, then blood can flow backward, where it ends up pooling in your veins. And, that pooling is what causes those not-so-pretty varicose veins.

So what can lead to your veins being damaged or weakened in the first place?

Here are the leading factors that put you at risk of varicose veins:

  • Obesity
  • Age
  • Genes
  • Hormones
  • Sedentary lifestyle

2. Varicose and spider veins are NOT the same

No, not all veins are created equal. Varicose veins are often mistaken for spider veins, but we are here to clear up the differences for you.

Spider veins are red or purple in color, are usually smaller, and tend to be flatter.

Varicose veins are blue, are usually bigger, and bulge out on your legs.

Both types of veins are very common, but spider veins are even more common. There is a difference in treatment, as well. Varicose veins, because of their larger size, often require much stronger treatment than spider veins.

Learn about our minimally-invasive vein treatment options.

3. Varicose veins don’t just occur in your legs

While it is most common that men and women get varicose veins in their legs, that is not the only spot you’ll see them pop up. They primarily occur in the legs due to the gravity factor we discussed in #1. But, you’ll also see varicose veins on the face and neck, or wherever damaged or weakened veins in your body exist.

4. Changing your lifestyle can help reduce the risk of vein disease

While the majority of varicose vein sufferers can thank genetics for their troubles, there are ways that you can decrease your chances of developing varicose veins.

Here are a few ways to live a healthier lifestyle:

  • Keep a healthy weight
  • Exercise regularly
  • Do not spend too much time either sitting or standing
  • Do not spend too much time in high heels
  • Stay away from clothing that is too tight on your waist and thighs

Though the above is not 100% guaranteed to keep you from getting varicose veins, they will certainly help decrease your risk, and also decrease the pain and problems you will have if you do indeed develop varicose veins.

5. Some may feel pain from varicose veins, others may not

Though no one likes the way varicose veins look, some people may not suffer from any pain as a result of the veins. However, those that do suffer from pain tend to deal with the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Swelling
  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Numbness
  • Restless legs
  • Aching
  • Heaviness

Keep a close eye on your varicose veins and make sure you contact a vein specialist when your veins begin swelling and feeling tender, or if they begin to bleed. Varicose veins are not something you want to leave untreated if they start to become a problem.

Ignoring these issues could possibly lead to dangerous blood clots.

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6. It’s rare to just have one varicose vein

Though unfortunate, it is true that if you have fallen victim to a varicose vein, chances are good you will be confronted with another one down the line. And, while most varicose vein treatments do a good job of destroying a damaged vein, there is the possibility that the vein can regrow, and become a problem again.

If you have undergone varicose vein treatment before, you have no excuse not to practice the lifestyle changes in #4 to help lower your chances of getting another one.

7. Vein treatment options are aplenty

The good thing about having varicose veins in today’s world is that there are more options for varicose vein treatment than ever. Modern technology has allowed Vein Clinics of America to offer an incredible variety of effective vein treatment options that differ depending upon the severity of your veins.

From minimally invasive treatment like radiofrequency ablation (RFA)endovenous laser ablation to sclerotherapy and phlebectomy, Vein Clinics of America will work with you to determine which vein treatments are best, and likely to be the most effective for you.

If you’re curious about how well the treatments work, be sure to check out some before-and-after vein treatment photos that will “wow” you.

Concerned about your vein health?

Medically Reviewed by

Dr. Satish Vayuvegula
Dr. Satish Vayuvegula is the National Medical Director at Vein Clinics of America. Certified by the American Board of Venous & Lymphatic Medicine, Dr. Satish Vayuvegula is recognized as a physician who has met rigorous standards of knowledge and extensive training in phlebology, the diagnosis and treatment of varicose vein disease and related disorders. Dr. Satish also shares his passion and expertise by serving as a board member of the American Vein and Lymphatic Society, the predominant national organization for venous and lymphatic disease.

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