Over 25 percent of women and 18 percent of men will deal with varicose veins at some point in their life. When left untreated, this cosmetic issue could evolve into any number of serious medical problems, such as chronic venous insufficiency and ulcers. It is beneficial to know some of the most common causes of varicose veins, as well as a few tips for preventing this pervasive condition.
What is a Varicose Vein?
A varicose vein is nothing more than a twisted and swollen vein that has become visible just below the surface of the skin. Most patients will develop varicose veins in their legs, but this condition can take place anywhere on the body. Unlike arteries which transport oxygen-rich blood throughout the body, veins return blood back to the heart.
At the ends of your veins are complex valves that protect your heart from receiving too much blood. When these valves are damaged, blood will pool in the veins, and they will eventually become inflamed. Over time, this pressure will result in varicose veins.
The Hidden Dangers of Varicose Veins
Untreated varicose veins are not immediately dangerous, but they could result in a number of major medical problems down the road. The first side effect most patients will notice is general pain and fatigue in their legs.
Many patients will also deal with swelling and redness near the veins. For more severe cases, ulcers and deep vein thrombosis will become a major concern. These are essentially blood clots that can be fatal if they reach your heart.
There are a number of factors that will increase your risk of varicose veins. If both of your parents have dealt with varicose veins, then there is a large chance of developing this issue yourself. Other contributing factors include obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, high-sodium foods and tight clothing.
Preventing Varicose Veins
The single best way to lower your risk of varicose veins is to stay at a healthy weight. Regular exercise is another great way to prevent this condition. Studies have found that patients who exercise at least 150 minutes a week can improve the health of both their veins and their arteries. For those who work at a desk, it is important to get up and move around at least once every hour. This will prevent blood from pooling in the legs.
Seek Professional Treatment
Once varicose veins have developed, professional treatment will most likely be needed. At Spa Black in San Antonio, we offer specialized laser treatments for treating both varicose and spider veins. When carried out by an experienced specialist, this is an incredibly effective treatment option. Contact our office today to schedule your appointment to learn more about treatment options for your varicose veins.