a diagram showing what a varicose vein looks like underneath the skin. Then shows what a burst varicose vein looks like when it bursts under the skin versus through the skin
While varicose veins cause aching pain and discomfort, they sometimes lead to more serious problems and can even burst when left untreated.

This is a critical time to seek medical help and finally get treatment for your varicose veins. Because if a vein pops once, it may happen again.

Here, we explain why varicose veins burst and the next steps to take for a safe and healthy recovery.

What Makes a Varicose Vein Burst?

A varicose vein can burst from increased pressure within the veins. This build-up of pressure causes the walls of the vein to stretch, making it weak and prone to sudden rupture. A ruptured varicose vein can bleed into tissues and through the skin’s surface, especially if the skin is thin.

What Are the Symptoms of a Burst Varicose Vein?

Internal Rupture

If a varicose vein ruptures, but the skin is not broken, symptoms include bruising, dizziness, or fainting. If you experience these symptoms, visit your vein care specialist or the nearest emergency room to avoid excessive blood loss and other complications.

External Rupture

If a varicose vein ruptures and the skin is broken, significant bleeding will occur. Since veins burst from excess pressure, the bleeding can be rapid and profuse. In this case, call 911 and seek medical attention immediately to prevent excessive blood loss.

What to do When a Varicose Vein Bursts?

If your varicose vein has burst:

  1. Elevate the leg of the affected area on a stack of pillows or up a wall. This will help reduce swelling and blood loss.
  2. Apply pressure on the bleeding site with a towel or cotton t-shirt. This will help slow or stop the bleeding while you seek medical attention.
  3. Visit your vein care specialist or the nearest emergency room as soon as possible, to avoid excessive blood loss.

Medical treatment of ruptured varicose veins involves ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy. Patients need to undergo a complete evaluation of the lower extremity veins to check for the underlying cause of the rupture. We encourage you to seek treatment accordingly to prevent future ruptures.

a cartoon of a leaf personified as a person sitting on a chair with his leg elevated on a stool. He's holding a towel on his shine to stop the bleeding of a ruptured varicose vein.

How Can I Prevent a Varicose Vein from Bursting?

The best way to prevent a varicose vein from bursting is to get vein treatment. Not only does treating varicose veins and venous insufficiency help with your overall health, but it can also help you avoid some serious potential long-term risks like a ruptured vein or a leg ulcer.

Treat Your Varicose Veins Today

If you or a loved one suffers from leg swelling, rashes, or ulcers, see a vein specialist as soon as you can to prevent a potential vein rupture.

If you don’t have symptoms but do have the risk factors for varicose veins, see a doctor. A simple ultrasound test will determine whether you have varicose veins or not.

Remember, untreated varicose veins can lead to serious health problems. Don’t wait. With your varicose veins treated, you’ll feel better — and you’ll live a longer, healthier life with fewer complications.

 

Delaware State riding a bicycle to healthier veins

At Delaware Advanced Vein Center, our medical staff has years of experience helping people with their spider and varicose veins. We would love to welcome you to our family of satisfied patients. 

Contact us today to schedule a free virtual consultation and vein evaluation.

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Leg on left with varicose veins, leg on right with no varicose veinsIf you’ve noticed pesky veins showing up on your legs, you’re not alone. As we age, spider veins and varicose veins appear for two reasons:

1. Damaged skin
2. Aging vein valves
The sun ages and thins out the skin, causing it to break down and become more transparent. As this happens, we tend to see more of our veins and might want them removed.

But first, it’s important to know the difference between these types of veins so you can get the best treatment.

The Difference Between Varicose Veins & Spider Veins

Spider Veins

Spider veins have a web-like appearance and appear towards the surface of your skin. These surface veins supply blood to the skin and other superficial areas. They are small, twisted blood vessels and can be the color red, purple, or blue.

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are large and deeper because they supply blood to muscle tissue. When they become visible, they’re more obvious and tend to pop out.

Causes of Spider Veins vs Varicose Veins?

Spider and varicose veins may look different, but they show up for the same reasons.

Our veins work to pump blood from the legs back to the heart. As we age the valves weaken, causing the blood to flow backward. This makes the blood collect in your veins and make your veins enlarged. All this, because the blood is not being pushed back to your heart.
Other factors that contribute to spider veins and varicose veins issues include:
  • Genetics
  • Hormones
  • Leg trauma
  • Not being active
  • Smoking
  • Weight Gain

Treating Varicose Veins vs Spider Viens

When it comes to removing your veins, there are several treatment options available. Be sure to seek vein treatment from a vein specialist. This ensures you get the correct procedure and rule out vein diseases like venous insufficiency.

How to Treat Spider Veins

Spider veins are treated with a procedure known as Sclerotherapy. It’s a common treatment performed in your doctor’s office. It takes about 15 – 30 minutes and you can return to normal activities the very next day.

Spider Veins Injections Illustration

 
A solution is injected into the veins that irritate the vein walls and causes them to stick together, clot and collapse. Your body will break them down and reabsorb them. Depending on how many veins you need treated, multiple treatments may be required to get desired results.
 
Regardless, the appearance of spider veins will fade over time.

How to Treat Varicose Veins

Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) is a successful treatment for varicose veins. The procedure involves a catheter that is inserted into the varicose vein. Using a high-frequency alternating current, the vein spasms, and collapses. The body will absorb the dead tissue and start using a healthy vein to pump blood from the legs to the heart.

Varicose Vein Heat Injection Illustration

 
RFA is a non-invasive outpatient procedure done in the doctor’s office and performed under moderate sedation. You can resume normal activities the day after treatment.

When to See a Doctor

Whether it’s the appearance of spider veins or varicose veins that concern you, there are options. And the sooner you get them treated, the sooner you can enjoy your life.
 
If you have symptoms like swelling, cramping, heaviness, or pain in your legs, consult with a doctor. These could be symptoms of Venous Insufficiency, a progressive vein disease that, if left untreated, could result in other health issues.

 

Delaware state character riding a bike toward healthier veinsAt Delaware Advanced Vein Center, our medical staff has years of experience helping people with their
spider and varicose veins. We would love to welcome you to our family of satisfied patients. 

Contact us today to schedule a free virtual consultation and vein evaluation.

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a personification of a peeled orange, looking at a laptop with varicose veins remedies around her head like aloe vera, apple cider vinegar, and saltThe lure of all-natural ingredients (plus the convenience of skipping a doctor’s visit) is hard to resist. Many people try food and other items to treat the appearance and discomfort of varicose veins. But this begs the question: Do these home remedies for varicose veins actually work? 

 
The answer is a yes and no. DIY varicose vein remedies can help soothe symptoms like inflammation and discomfort, but they are not a permanent cure. Here, we dive into the pros and cons of popular varicose vein home remedies.

Are Varicose Vein Home Remedies Safe?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a solid yes or no answer to this question. We believe in the power of vein treatments like VNUS and ambulatory phlebectomy. It’s the sure-fire way to permanently remove your varicose veins. 
 
But, we understand the temptation to reach for ingredients in your kitchen pantry. Some home solutions can indeed soothe the skin if thoughtfully used. But we urge you to err on the side of caution when approaching DIY cosmetics. It’s not worth harming your skin.

bottle labeled apple cider vinegar with some apples piled next to it

Apple Cider Vinegar

Pros: Apple cider vinegar (AVC) improves blood flow and circulation. It’s also supposed to cleanse the body of accumulated toxins. Apply undiluted ACV to the skin over the varicose veins and massage it into the skin twice a day. 
 
Cons: While it’s unlikely the use of ACV for varicose veins is harmful, there is little research and proof to support this treatment as successful.
2 green bottles of peppermint oil with 3 springs of mint

Peppermint Oil

Pros: Peppermint oil has cooling and soothing properties. It helps reduce pain and discomfort caused by poor blood circulation. The oil also has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce inflammation. Warm the oil in your hands and massage the area affected by varicose veins.
 
Cons: You’ll still suffer from underlying health complications related to varicose veins even after using peppermint oil.

a wooden spoon with epsom salt and some pink flowers around the border

Epsom Salt

Pros: Epsom salt may help improve blood circulation, reduce inflammation, and decrease varicose vein size. It can improve magnesium deficiencies in the body which are important for tissue development. Dissolve the salts in warm bath water and soak the affected areas.
 
Cons: Epsom salt is great for soothing the discomfort and inflammation caused by your varicose veins, but it will not make them go away.

an aloe vera plant with a white background

Aloe Vera

Pros: Aloe Vera can have many benefits on varicose veins. The gel can relieve itchiness, which is a problem in patients with varicose veins. It can also reduce swelling and reduce pain. When massaged into the skin, aloe vera may improve blood circulation.
 
Cons: Aloe Vera can ease irritation and discomfort caused by varicose veins but it’s only temporary. For a permanent solution, you need to seek medical vein treatment.

Combine DIY Varicose Vein Remedies with Lifestyle Changes

These vein remedies will bring relief, but you need to commit to some lifestyle changes to prevent other varicose veins issues. The only way to improve the function and appearance of your veins is from the inside. Combine your vein care remedies with the following lifestyle adjustments:

  • vein health for varicose veinsDon’t sit or stand for long periods. If your work demands so, take breaks after every 30 minutes. Change your position, walk a little, stretch or stand for a while. Just don’t be in the same position for long periods of time.
  • Don’t sit with crossed legs or crossed ankles.
  • Keep your legs elevated even when you lie down or sleep. Stack a few pillows to rest your feet on.
  • Exercise regularly. Cardiovascular exercises and strength training are beneficial for your vein health. Walking also improves your blood circulation.
  • Lose weight. Being overweight is one of the major causes of varicose veins.
  • Eat a balanced diet. Include more fiber in your meals. Fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants are good for you and your blood circulation.

Skip the Trial & Error and Opt for Vein Treatment

We get it. It’s normal to wish for simple solutions. Choosing home varicose vein treatment can be an attractive prospect, but it leaves too much to chanceThe best way to find the right solution for varicose veins is to work with a certified vein specialist. They will check your veins, listen to your concerns, and provide personalized treatment. This approach is proven to provide visible, long-lasting results.

 

illustration of person holding a map of varicose veins

At Delaware Advanced Vein Center, our medical staff has years of experience helping people with their
spider and varicose veins. We would love to welcome you to our family of satisfied patients. 

Contact us today to schedule a free virtual consultation and vein evaluation.

 

Filed under: Varicose Veins, Vein HealthTagged with: ,

A woman's pedicured feet with spider veins
About 20 million Americans live with undiagnosed and untreated varicose veins. If you’re one of them, it’s time to take action.

One of the greatest dangers of varicose veins is that they’re slow and silent. Many people with the condition don’t experience any symptoms at all, even though their veins are damaged and affecting the cells and tissues around them.

Are you one of these people?

Are You At Risk for Developing Varicose Veins?

You may be more likely to develop the condition if you:

  • Are overweight
  • Are inactive
  • Are age 45 or older
  • Have a family history of varicose veins
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Sit or stand for long periods of time

Signs of Untreated Varicose Veins

While clear signs of varicose veins may develop slowly over time, the condition will cause painful, uncomfortable symptoms like: 

  • Achy, heavy legs
  • Burning
  • Throbbing
  • Muscle cramps
  • Swelling
  • Itching 
  • Skin discoloration 
  • Pain after sitting or standing for long periods of time

Whether you’re experiencing these symptoms or not, untreated varicose veins can pose some potential major health risks that could leave you in pain, hospitalized, or in severe cases, death.

When to Worry About Varicose Veins

Varicose veins damage an essential system in your body: the blood vessels. The consequences of untreated varicose veins can be very serious, and some can eventually be fatal. They include:

leg illustration with a blot clot on the calf1. Blood Clots

When you have varicose veins, your blood is unable to cycle back through correctly to your heart and pools in the lower body, usually the legs. This creates “stagnant blood flow”. There are two types of blood clots: superficial blood clots (or phlebitis), and deep vein clots known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). 

Clots in deep veins can travel through the bloodstream to the lungs, causing potentially life-threatening issues like a pulmonary embolism, which can be fatal. This is one of the most serious health risks associated with untreated varicose veins.

If you experience signs of a deep or superficial blood clot, don’t ignore it! A thorough examination, including a leg ultrasound and treatment, can help prevent a blood clot from enlarging and becoming potentially lethal. 

leg illustration of a burst and bleeding ulcer 2. Bleeding

Some experience bleeding when varicose veins close to the surface of the skin burst. While this isn’t usually a very serious health risk it’s important to seek medical assistance and treatment so it doesn’t continue. If a varicose vein does bleed stop the bleeding quickly by doing the following:

  • Elevate Your Leg: Lie down flat and raise the leg high. You can use a few pillows for support. 
  • Apply Pressure: Place a clean cloth or towel on the bleeding area and apply firm pressure, for at least 10 minutes.

If the bleeding is heavy or doesn’t stop, see a doctor immediately.

leg illustration with an ulcer on the lower leg

3. Ulcers

About 70 percent of leg ulcers are caused by vein problems, specifically venous insufficiencySymptoms include swelling, rashes, and brown discoloration on the affected areas. This debilitating condition can cause people to not only miss work but also miss out on life. Imagine living with daily dressing changes, chronic drainage, or the foul smell that can accompany a leg ulcer.

Unfortunately, many suffer from leg ulcers for years before they see a doctor about it. Today’s treatments can help ulcers heal and stay healed.

leg illustration of leathery, darkening of the skin

4. Lipodermatosclerosis (Leathery Skin) 

Varicose veins are a key symptom of an illness called Lipodermatosclerosis (LDS). Those suffering from this disease often experience pain, hardening of the skin, changes in skin color, swelling, and tapering of legs above the ankles. 

LDS is a medical condition that actually means “scarring of the skin and fat.” It’s described as a skin and connective tissue disease. If left untreated, lipodermatosclerosis can lead to a chronic venous leg ulcer which is very difficult to heal. LDS also severely limits a person’s ability to walk or run, and can adversely affect his or her overall health. 

Read about a similar symptom called Hemosiderin Staining

Treat Your Varicose Veins Today

These complications sound scary — and they are. Fortunately, treating your varicose veins can help prevent many of these secondary problems, or at least manage them if they’ve already developed. 

If you or a loved one suffer from leg swelling, rashes or ulcers, see a vein specialist as soon as you can. If you don’t have symptoms but do have the risk factors for varicose veins, see a doctor. A simple ultrasound test will determine whether you have varicose veins or not. 

Don’t wait. With your varicose veins treated, you’ll feel better — and you’ll live a longer, healthier life with fewer complications.

 

illustration of person holding a map of varicose veins

At Delaware Advanced Vein Center, our medical staff has years of experience helping people with their spider and varicose veins. We would love to welcome you to our family of satisfied patients. 

Contact us today to schedule a free virtual consultation and vein evaluation.

Filed under: Varicose Veins, Vein TreatmentTagged with: , ,
person holding leg with varicose veins
Varicose veins are like snowflakes. They are as unique to patients as the treatments are to fix them.
Often considered a cosmetic issue, varicose veins are a medical condition called venous insufficiency. And they can be quite painful if not treated. Here’s how to ease the discomfort. 
 

What is Venous Insufficiency?

The cause of venous insufficiency is malfunctioning vein valves. They can’t push blood from the legs back up to your heart, causing the blood to pool in the legs.
Venous insufficiency symptoms include:
  • Heaviness in your legs 
  • Pain/cramping
  • Swelling
  • Restless legs
  • Discoloration

How to Relieve Varicose Vein Pain

If you find yourself in pain from your varicose veins, you should seek treatment with a vein specialist. But here are some options to ease the discomfort at home:

1. Elevate Your Legs. Lie them on a table, lean them up against a wall, or rest them on three to four pillows. This allows the blood to flow toward the heart. Stay in the position for at least 15 minutes. It will reduce swelling and ease discomfort!

2. Move and Stretch Your Legs. Flex your feet, especially during long trips when your legroom is limited. If you have to sit or stand all day, change position every 30 minutes and your bend knees.

3. Hydrate. Proper hydration supports healthy blood circulation. Try drinking a glass of water before each meal and eating food with high water content

4. Use Cold Water. Shower your legs with cold water. Cool temperatures cause blood vessels to shrink, which reduces swelling and feelings of heaviness.

Still in Pain? See a Doctor

If your varicose vein pain symptoms progress, worsen or don’t go away, see a vein specialist. They can offer a treatment plan based on your symptoms. There are several non-invasive procedures to help ease your pain for good.

Delaware state character riding a bike toward healthier veinsAt Delaware Advanced Vein Center, our medical staff has years of experience helping people with their spider and varicose veins. We would love to welcome you to our family of satisfied patients. 

Contact us today to schedule a FREE virtual consultation and vein evaluation.

Filed under: Varicose VeinsTagged with: ,

Brown-stained legs magnified to show blood leaking out of veins just under the skinDo you have any concerns about your legs turning a reddish-brown color? This could be an indication that the veins in question are suffering from hemosiderin staining and potential problems with their health.

As we get older, it’s normal for our skin to thin, dry out, and lose elasticity. But it can be more concerning when you notice unusual changes in color and texture on your knees, legs, or ankles. If you notice a brown discoloration on the lower legs, it could point out a problem with your veins. For this reason alone, it’s important to understand why brown skin stains appear and what you can do to treat them.

What Is Hemosiderin Staining?

Hemosiderin Staining occurs when red blood cells leak through the veins and Iron or other byproducts are released. The brown stain shows up on the skin as a result of this symptom, which can happen for several reasons.

What Causes Hemosiderin Staining?

Chronic Vein Disease

In addition to its unsightly appearance, Hemosiderin Staining indicates an underlying health condition. The reddish-brown discoloration on the lower legs is caused by chronic venous disease–the abnormal function of veins.

When your veins can’t pump blood back up to the heart properly, it pools in your lower legs. Symptoms start with slight skin irritations and itchiness, then manifest varicose veins. Other vein disease symptoms that can lead to brown staining are:

  • High Blood Pressure – Veins force blood through the veins and sometimes through the skin.
  • Vein Ulcers – Slow-healing or non-healing wounds.

As blood continues to pool in the veins, its cells break down and leak iron pigments into the skin. Over time, this shows up as brown patches or stains on the lower leg or ankle. When unaddressed, the stain will darken and eventually may turn black. At this point, these symptoms are unfortunately permanent even when vein disease is treated. BUT! If caught early enough, chronic venous disease can be controlled and Hemosiderin staining will fade.

orange personified as a person with brown-red stains on her legs, shows how it is caused by sclerotherapy needle

Sclerotherapy Staining Side-Effect

Sclerotherapy is one of the treatment options for vein disease and varicose veins. It involves the injection of a substance known as a sclerosant into the affected veins. This makes the veins reduce in size.

In some cases, this treatment may leave the patient with brown skin discoloration as a result of hemosiderin (iron) deposits. This discoloration is usually transient and disappears in a couple of weeks; however, in some people, the stain ends up being permanent.

If you are considering sclerotherapy treatment, consider the following factors that are associated with the Hemosiderin Staining side effect:

  • Dark Skin Type
  • Sensitive Skin
  • Older Patients with Fragile Veins
  • Taking Certain Medication
  • Experience of the Vein Doctor

Treating the Condition, NOT the Symptom

Most patients will go to a dermatologist or primary care physician for the skin condition, not the underlying vein disease of hemosiderin staining. As a result, they may not get an accurate diagnosis.

If you have brown skin discoloration on the knees, lower legs, or ankles, make an appointment with a vein specialist as this could be early signs of vein disease…especially if accompanied by achy, heavy, and swollen legs.

Early treatment of your vein disease may help lighten the brown stains caused by Hemosiderin Staining, and even keep them from getting darker. Once diagnosed, the goal is to reroute the blood to healthier veins and fade unwanted veins, stains, and pains. The sooner you treat your vein condition, the better you’ll feel and the fewer complications you’ll experience.

 

At Delaware Advanced Vein Center, our medical staff has years of experience helping people with their spider and varicose veins. We would love to welcome you to our family of satisfied patients. 

Contact us today to schedule a free virtual consultation and vein evaluation.

Filed under: Varicose Veins, Vein TreatmentTagged with: , ,