Lower foot and ankle with dry skin, ulcers, and swellingAbout 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.

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: ,

Delaware State caricature sitting on blocks thinking "Should I See a Vein Doctor?"Your veins play an important role. They move blood and transport nutrients throughout your entire body. 

So if your veins don’t work properly, your body is in serious trouble. Symptoms may include itching, aching, and swelling in the legs as well as varicose veins. 

You can relieve the discomfort and avoid those problems before they get worse by seeing a vein specialist.  

There are 3 things you can do beforehand to make the visit as streamlined as possible.

1. Do a Vein Health Self-Assessment 

Ask yourself these questions to help you determine if you have vein disease: 

  1. Have you ever suffered from spider or varicose veins?
  2. Have you had a stroke, heart attack, or other pulmonary issues? 
  3. Has anyone in your family suffered from vein disease, spider, or varicose veins? 
  4. Do you sit or stand for long periods of time? 
  5. Have you experienced any of the following: 
    • swelling or throbbing 
    • heavy leg
    • skin discoloration
    • itchy or burning legs
    • cramping or aching
    • difficulty moving

If you answered yes to 2 or more of these questions, it’s time to see a doctor. Your symptoms could be related to venous insufficiency–a condition when the valves in your legs are not working properly.

2. Book a Vein Screening

A vein screening is an educational consultation about vein health and disease.

During your screening, a vascular technician will ask you questions related to your veins, health, and any issues you’re experiencing. The technician will explain why you’re experiencing problems and guide you in choosing the best treatment option for your specific needs.

3. Get Tested for Vein DiseaseApple caricature dressed as a doctor talking to Delaware caricature sitting on a table

Once you’ve decided it’s time to see a doctor, call your nearest vein specialist to schedule an ultrasound. This test will help your physician detect the underlying source of your vein issues. 

The procedure, known as duplex ultrasound, involves harmless sound waves used to create an image of the veins and evaluate the blood flow through them. 

This procedure does not require any special preparation and involves no discomfort, anesthesia, or downtime.

Prevent Future Health Complications 

The vein screening and ultrasound help physicians take preventative measures for patients who may be at risk of developing blood clots and other life-threatening conditions. From there, you’ll book a consultation with a vein specialist to discuss procedure options. Don’t play the guessing game, schedule an appointment to take the first steps 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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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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leaf character with varicose veins holding a coffee cup and watching leaves fall
At last, Fall is upon us! You dreaded seeing the veins on your legs this summer, and now you can cover them up and forget about them until next summer, right?

WRONG! Fall is the best time to get rid of those unsightly veins once and for all. Here are a few great reasons why now is the time to finally address your veins:

Insurance

This time of year, you may have met your insurance deductible. Or, if you have a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA), you may be in a position where you need to finish using those funds by the end of the year.

Extra Time for Healing

Varying types of medical procedures are used to treat veins. Most treatments require one or more sessions, and the healing time varies depending on how serious your condition is. You may not notice full results until after about 2 weeks from starting treatment so plan accordingly if you want pain-free legs by late spring/summer!

Sun Protection

Whether you choose injectable or laser vein treatment, it’s important to protect the treated area from the sun for a number of weeks. Sun exposure can cause permanent skin discoloration in the treated area, interfering with your desired results. Keeping the treated veins under fall clothing is one of the best ways to ensure the veins are fully protected from the sun’s rays. In turn, you’ll have the best possible outcome from your vein treatment.

Cooler Temperatures

Being active and walking is very important after vein treatment. It encourages blood circulation which helps with the healing process. Cooler temperatures make it enjoyable to go out and do some fun Fall activities with friends and family.

Easy Appointment Scheduling

Getting a vein treatment in the fall and winter is much easier. You can schedule an appointment without too many interruptions because most people are at work or caring for their children during these times anyway! In 15-30 minutes you will get back up on your feet again with no downtime necessary – so go ahead and make this happen.

Treat Your Veins Today!

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.

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.

 

orange leaf character playing tennis

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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leaf caricature with varicose veins

Yes, men can get varicose veins too and it’s totally normal! While mostly associated with women, this vein condition is actually very common in men, particularly as they get older. Venous insufficiency is a men’s health issue that can and should be treated. 

If you’re a man with varicose veins, or know someone with vein issues, read below for some expert tips and advice to help you understand this medical condition. 

1. You’re Not Alone

It’s estimated that 40% of all men will experience varicose veins at some point in their life. In fact, roughly 30 million American men and women have this vein condition due to aging, genes, hormones, or lifestyle.

Take ease in knowing there are many other people out there in the same boat. But don’t take that to mean your veins aren’t a big concern, just that you’re in good company.

2. Know the Signs

Varicose veins are a sign that the blood flow from your legs to your heart is restricted. This can make your legs feel itchy, painful, and, if left untreated, lead to other health compilations.

In addition to swollen, discolored, and enlarged veins, symptoms of venous insufficiency include:

  • aching
  • cramping and burning
  • itching and tingling
  • pain that gets worse when standing
  • night cramps
  • swollen ankles

If you experience any of these symptoms, reach out to a specialist to learn more and to ease your discomfort. No one should have to suffer.

3. Examine Yourself

Men can get varicose veins anywhere on the body, even the scrotum. So check to see if you have any swollen veins on your testicles. Known as varicoceles, this condition can lead to lowered testosterone levels and eventually infertility. Luckily, varicoceles can be treated by surgically removing the veins. After a few treatments, testosterone levels should return to normal along with your romantic pursuits.

4. It’s Not a Cosmetic Issue

A lot of men don’t treat their varicose veins simply because they aren’t concerned with the appearance. But leaving your varicose veins untreated is actually pretty dangerous and can lead to pain, swelling, and even ulceration.

Just Picture It: Healthy veins pump blood up to your heart. If those veins don’t work properly, blood will sink and pool, resulting in twisted, swollen blood vessels. Doesn’t sound superficial, does it?

You may not care the way they look, but there are underlying health issues that need to be addressed. So it’s important to book a consultation with a vein specialist to determine the status of your vein health.

5. Change Your Habits, Change Your Life

While you can’t change your genes, hormones, or age, you can change your habits. Once you consult with a doctor about your vein health, he/she may suggest some lifestyle adjustments.

These simple changes can make a huge difference in your vein health:

  • Lose weight
  • Quit smoking
  • Move your body (walk, bike, or dance)
  • Eat more fiber, eat less salt
  • Drink plenty of water

6. Choose Health over Pride

Taking charge of your health is admirable and nothing to be embarrassed about. Varicose veins are serious and shouldn’t be put on the back burner. Even if your veins are just visible but not painful, head to a vein clinic for a diagnosis.

The earlier you catch and treat your vein problems, the easier and more comfortable life will be. Since varicose veins are so common, doctors know exactly how to treat it. No trial period, no unknowns, just a few quick treatments and you’re back at it!

Varicose veins won’t just go away on their own, they’ll get worse. Don’t wait. Take action now! They can be fixed with a quick, simple, and non-invasive procedure. And depending on the severity of your varicose veins, treatment will have you in, out, and back on your feet all in the same day! 

 

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.

Filed under: Varicose Veins, Vein HealthTagged with: ,