bulging veins on handsOur blood moves throughout the body via blood vessels. Sometimes they’ll appear as bulging or popping veins in the hands and feet.

These swollen veins can look weird and show off our age. The good news is most bulging veins aren’t really a sign of poor health. But there are instances where they may arise from an underlying disease.

Either way, we’ll go over what you need to know about bulging veins.

What Causes Bulging Veins in the Hands and Feet?

  • Aging: As we age, our skin gets thinner and less elastic, making our blood vessels more visible. It’s all a normal process of getting older.
  • Genetics: Having family members with bulging veins increases your chances of getting them.
  • Hot Weather: Heat can make veins more prominent and enlarged. They’ll work harder and become more visible.
  • Hormone Imbalance: Pregnancy or menopause can lead to a hormone imbalance. One of the symptoms is bulging veins. Varicose veins or bulging Pregnancy may also put pressure on veins, making it harder for blood flow to get back to the heart.
  • Exercise: Heavy lifting for long periods of time can make the blood flow increase. The muscles harden, causing more visible blood vessels. Over-stretching can also play a role in making veins pop out.
  • Blood Clots: Also known as thrombophlebitis, this condition can cause swollen veins that feel tough.
  • Body Fat Loss: Our skin has a layer of fat that serves as an insulator. When you lose weight, that layer thins, and can makes veins more visible.
  • Health Conditions: Underlying heart problems can cause a chronic increase in blood pressure. This weakens the veins and can cause popping.

Are Bulging Veins the Same as Varicose Veins?

Not all bulging veins are varicose veins and are generally harmless. If the popped-out veins cause pain and discomfort, that signals underlying problems from untreated varicose veins.

Can Bulging Veins Go Away?

Usually, bulging veins will go away on their own, especially from exercise or hot weather. If popping veins run in your family or come from underlying conditions, then you may need treatment to help them go away. That may include:

  • Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs can help decrease the swelling of bulging veins.
  • Sclerotherapy injects a chemical solution into targeted veins and makes them close.
  • Ambulatory phlebectomy is the removal of the targeted veins via small incisions. While you’re under general anesthesia, your doctor will make an incision, tie off the vein, and remove it. The blood that used to run in the vein is automatically shifted and the closed vein eventually fades away.

Cosmetic or Medical, Bulging Veins Can be Fixed

Bulging hand and foot veins are not a serious medical issue for the majority of people. But if you’re concerned that your popping veins are something serious — or you don’t like the way they look — make an appointment with a vein doctor.

If there’s a serious problem, they can recommend treatment. If you want them removed for cosmetic purposes, your doctor will make a suggestion for the best procedure. In the unlikely event, your bulging hand and feet veins are a sign of a more serious condition, your doctor will offer specific medical treatment.

 

 

Delaware State riding a bicycle to 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 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.

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orange leaf person wearing a winter hat looking at reasons for varicose veins in winter
If you have varicose veins, spider veins, or other forms of venous disease, colder seasons can take a toll on your legs
. Here we’ll look at what happens to your veins in colder temperatures and how it affects your veins’ overall function. 

Positive Effects of Cold Weather on Your Veins

Less Discomfort​: The colder it gets, the less likely you are to suffer from swelling and pain in your ankles. This is because as our bodies heat up we expand; but with decreased circulation due to lower temperatures these valves function better which means there’ll be less cramps or other discomfort!

Negative Effects of Cold Weather on Your Veins

Circulatory Problems: When the temperatures drop enough for it to snow, the atmospheric pressure changes. This can cause your circulatory system to become less efficient, which can aggravate vein problems.
 
Weight Gain​: It’s common during the holiday months to gain a few extra pounds. That means your legs are under more stress to pump blood back to your heart. Despite the cold weather, try to stay active. This will keep the valves pumping blood through the veins.
thermometer showing how temperature affects your vein health

How to Maintain Vein Health in Winter

Here are a few ways to keep the symptoms of varicose veins in check during the colder months:
  • Elevate your legs for 30 minutes before you go to sleep.
  • Eat high-fiber foods like avocados, beans, and berries for good circulation.
  • Try some light stretching in the morning, at midday, and before bed.
  • Massage your ankles and lower legs when possible.

See a Vein Specialist

If you are suffering from the symptoms of varicose veins, there is no need to suffer any longer! It’s important that once a vein has become damaged it cannot be repaired without medical attention. Seeking out help now will give your legs back their youthful appearance and performance they were designed for by preventing future complications in time-honored tradition.

 

Delaware state character riding a bike toward 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.

Filed under: Vein HealthTagged with: ,

dark lump on leg that may be symptom of phlebitis
Have you noticed an area on your leg that’s dark with a lump? This is a common symptom of phlebitis.

It refers to the inflammation of veins, which can cause blood clots called Thrombophlebitis if left untreated.

Here, we’ll go over what causes phlebitis so you can better understand how to treat it.

What Causes Phlebitis?

Phlebitis has many causes but the most common causes are:

  • Local trauma or injury to the vein
  • Prolonged inactivities like long driving or plane rides
  • Insertion of intravenous catheters (IV) in hospitals
  • IV induced after surgery, especially orthopedic procedures
  • Prolonged immobility, as in hospitalized or bed-ridden patients
  • Varicose veins
  • Underlying cancers or clotting disorders
  • Removal of lymph nodes or after mastectomy for breast cancer

Phlebitis can also occur in individuals whose blood has a tendency to clot, often caused by circulatory issues.

How to Treat Phlebitis

Phlebitis can be treated with:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications to relieve pain and inflammation
  • Blood thinners to prevent clots from enlarging
  • Self-care like a healthy diet and exercise
  • Warm compress
  • Compression stockings

find relied for phlebitis leg lump pain with these

Home Remedies for Phlebitis

Here are some simple at-home treatments to relieve phlebitis symptoms:

  • Use warm/cold compresses
  • Elevate the affected leg for better blood flow
  • Wear compression stockings
  • Use over the counter drugs

How Long Does Phlebitis Take to Go Away?

A short-term condition of phlebitis will subside in 1-3 weeks.

How to Prevent Phlebitis

Some preventive measures of phlebitis and thrombophlebitis include:

  • Staying hydrated
  • Performing leg exercises
  • Quit smoking

Can Phlebitis Turn into Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)?

If left untreated, phlebitis poses an increased risk of developing blood clots in deeper veins.

The development of a serious blood clot is known as deep vein thrombosis.

One of the primary risks of DVT is a clot breaking free of the blood vessel wall and traveling through the body to the lungs. It can lodge in a pulmonary artery and block blood flow back to the heart. The situation can be life-threatening.

In the event that phlebitis has caused a deep vein thrombosis, hospitalization is often recommended along with anti-blood clot or blood thinner medications and monitoring.

 

Delaware Vein Center RecoveryDelaware 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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