- What Are Varicose Veins?
- Stages of Varicose Vein Disease
- Can They Be Prevented?
- Are They Permanent?
- What Are The Treatment Options?
What Are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are enlarged, usually swollen and raised, and can also appear as a bluish-purple or red color. They occur when your veins become enlarged and dilated. Varicose veins can develop from any vein that is located close to the skin’s surface and can often be very painful. Varicose veins are most common in the legs. This is because walking and standing can increase pressure in the lower body’s veins.
Causes of Varicose Veins
Varicose veins form when your vein walls weaken. As they become weaker, the vein will expand as your blood pressure in that area increases. The valves that keep blood flowing in one direction within your vein become less effective as your vein grows. Due to this, as blood moves through and backs up, the vein will swell, bulge, and twist.
The vein walls can become weak for many reasons. For example, age and weight can play a factor. Also, if you’re obese, it causes the body to add pressure on veins. Furthermore, changes in hormones can affect the strength of vein walls. Statistically, women are more prone to varicose veins because of hormonal changes during menstrual cycles, birth control, and pregnancy. The increase in hormones causes veins to relax more.
Stages of Varicose Vein Disease
While getting varicose veins is common and not always something to worry about, they can be an early sign of potential varicose vein disease in Utah. Unfortunately, vein disease can be progressive if not treated early. There are six main stages of vein disease, and the important thing is to be vigilant and proactive when monitoring your varicose veins.
- Stage One – Spider Veins
Spider veins are smaller red, purple and blue vessels. They also twist and turn. Spider veins can be seen through the skin. This is because they affect the capillaries, which are the body’s smallest vessels. The red and blue spider veins look like a tree branch or a web. They are usually visible on the legs or face.
They are not synonymous with varicose vein disease but can be caused by the same underlying issues.
- Stage Two – Enlarged Varicose Veins
This is when most people in Utah first notice a problem with their veins. Itching, burning, or numbness may occur along with swollen or swollen legs. This is the best time to treat the disease with the highest success.
- Stage Three – Edema
Due to the weakened walls of the vein, the circulatory system’s ability to absorb fluid has been severely reduced. The lack of proper blood flow causes swelling in the ankles and legs. Although some tactics have been shown to reduce swelling, it’s not guaranteed to cure the disease.
- Stage Four – Discoloration
Poor circulation and venous congestion can cause skin changes as the disease progresses. Your legs may become reddish-brown or even white and can develop a leathery texture. This makes them more susceptible to injury.
- Stage Five – Healed Ulceration
This stage of the disease is where you can treat scratches or injuries to your toughened skin. However, scarring is possible.
- Stage Six – Active Ulceration
At this point of varicose vein disease, treatment has little to zero effect on the skin and any ulcers on the legs. This can cause open wounds and severe bleeding.
Can Varicose Veins be Prevented?
In some cases, you cannot prevent varicose veins from occurring. For some people in Utah, it can be genetic; if someone has it in your family, there is a greater chance you’ll also get it. However, living a healthier lifestyle can reduce the chances of developing varicose vein disease.
Be more active; partaking in physical activity allows blood to circulate better around the body. Living in Utah, where beautiful nature is abundant, means being active should be easy. Also, elevating your legs above your waist improves blood flow to the heart. Thus, try not to stand or sit in the same position for long periods. Furthermore, don’t wear clothes that are too tight and restrict circulation.
Are Varicose Veins Permanent?
In Utah, varicose veins are quite common and don’t always mean you have varicose vein disease. For many, it’s more of a physical thing—people are more concerned with how the veins look.
If varicose veins are developed during pregnancy, they will usually disappear within two to three weeks post-childbirth. In other cases, treatment can help alleviate how the veins appear; however, it doesn’t guarantee that varicose veins won’t return.
What Are The Treatment Options?
There are many different treatment options in Utah for those with varicose veins. First, to prevent veins from worsening and progressing towards disease status, doctors recommend that patients always elevate their legs to increase blood flow and circulation. Wearing compression stockings and socks is also recommended. If those treatments don’t help, a doctor will recommend different procedures and surgery:
Sclerotherapy is a simple procedure involving injecting a solution directly into the vein. The solution, which is usually some sort of saline mixture, causes the blood vessel’s lining to become irritated, collapse, and stick together. This causes the blood to clot; over time, the vein becomes scar tissue and fades away on its own.
While this is an easy procedure involving no downtime or anesthesia in Utah, you will need a consultation to ensure you’re an ideal candidate. Also, sclerotherapy isn’t always recommended if you’ve had blood clots in the past, especially if your health isn’t the best. Furthermore, those who are pregnant are not eligible as well due to increased risks and complications.
- Laser Treatment
Laser therapy, also known as endovenous thermal ablation, is a newer varicose vein treatment in Utah. A catheter is inserted into the vein, and bursts of heat are created to close the damaged vein. Because it only closes the vein, it remains and can bruise and bleed a little after treatment. However, over time, it will fade.
- Vein Surgery
If surgery is your best option, it will most likely involve litigation and vein stripping. Ligation is the surgical tying or securing of veins using a small incision. This prevents blood from pooling. During surgery, small cuts are made to the vein for removal.
While vein surgery is a great option, half of those who have surgical stripping in Utah get varicose veins again within five years. And with all of these procedures, there are potential side effects, such as scarring, infections, nerve injury, and blood clots.