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Understanding Varicose Veins

Varicose Veins near the knee

While Newton may have been fond of the theory of gravity, your veins may not be so much. The veins are responsible for returning de-oxygenated blood to the heart. In the legs, this return trip is fighting gravity the entire way.

Normal, healthy veins make sure the blood is only flowing in one direction through valves located throughout the vein. Unfortunately, as we grow older, these valves can malfunction, a condition known as chronic venous insufficiency, and they allow the blood to back up. This is exacerbated by the weakening of the surrounding muscles and other tissues in the legs that help squeeze the veins when we are younger, aiding the push of blood upward and back to the heart. As we age, these tissues weaken and don’t provide the same support to the veins.

The result of this pooling of blood is widened, curving veins that can be seen on the leg surface. You know them as varicose veins. At Desert Vein & Vascular, we have various treatments to get rid of your obnoxious varicose veins.

What are the symptoms of varicose veins?

Varicose veins are larger versions of spider veins, the web-like areas of purple, red, and blue veins that develop on your legs as you age. Spider veins aren’t as large as varicose veins, which can push the skin outward and leave paths on your legs that look like mole tunnels on the surface of a lawn.

These are typical symptoms of varicose veins:

  • Leg pain
  • Throbbing, aching, or cramping
  • Fatigued or heavy-feeling legs
  • Itching or burning
  • Swollen lower legs or ankles
  • Restless legs
  • Venous ulcers

It’s estimated that 40 percent of Americans have some degree of chronic venous insufficiency, with 30 million people have varicose vein symptoms. Obesity, jobs that require prolonged sitting or standing, heredity, pregnancy, inactivity, and age all play a part in the development of varicose veins.

When should you call Desert Vein & Vascular?

Most cases of varicose veins are simply aesthetically unappealing, but they don’t present serious issues for the person. However, you should call the team at Desert Vein & Vascular if you develop these symptoms:

  • Your veins are warm to the touch and tender
  • Your veins are painful
  • You’re developing sores, rashes, or ulcers on your skin
  • The skin on your ankle or calf is changing color and thickening
  • Your veins bleed

At Desert Vein & Vascular Institute, we are varicose vein experts. Call us at (623) 847-3884 to make your appointment.

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