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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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 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.

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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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laser and iv needle inserting a vein

It’s the eternal struggle of vein removal – the debate between sclerotherapy or laser.

 

Both treatments are effective with minimal side effects, but they do have advantages and disadvantages alike.

But what’s easier and better for your veins? Let’s take a look at both methods for treating spider veins:

Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy is a non-surgical treatment for spider veins. The doctor injects a chemical, called a sclerosant into a vein, causing it to collapse and dry out. The vein gets reabsorbed by the body and disappears.

Sclerotherapy is best for superficial spider veins on the legs and hands. It’s less expensive, faster, and more effective than laser treatment. Sclerotherapy is also better for people with darker skin. Lasers produce light that can cause discoloration in people with tanned skin.

Laser Treatment

Laser treatment for spider veins is more expensive. and perceived as more painful. But laser treatments are considered the best way to treat spider veins on the face. There are several types of laser treatments: 

IPL: Laser and intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments are non-invasive and chemical-free. It involves directing light at the veins from outside the skin. IPL or surface laser treatments take about 15 to 20 minutes depending on the extent of the area. The most common side effect is a temporary purple skin pigmentation that looks like bruising. There can also be some temporary redness, swelling or blistering.

Surface Laser Therapy: Your doctor can treat small-to-medium varicose veins with a laser through the skin, much like with spider veins. Different kinds of lasers can penetrate the skin and reach the veins. The skin is cooled to avoid burning, but patients still report more pain than sclerotherapy.

Endovenous Laser Therapy: Endovenous laser therapy (EVLT) is an effective treatment for larger varicose veins. A laser probe is inserted directly into the vein. As the probe is withdrawn, the intense heat from the laser cauterizes the vein from the inside, causing it to collapse. A single EVLT procedure is more effective than sclerotherapy, which requires multiple sessions.

char that shows the uses for sclerotherapy and laser therapy for veins

The Choice is Up to You and Your Vein Doctor

Both treatments get rid of pesky spider veins and leave your skin looking smooth. And many patients have both types of vein problems and both types of treatment may be recommended.

The choice of treatment often depends on the location of the veins. Sclerotherapy is better for treating larger varicose veins, especially those on the legs, while laser therapy suits thinner veins on other parts of the body. Sometimes it may need a combination approach to get the best results.

Be sure to talk to your vein doctor to choose the treatment that is most effective and most comfortable for you. The best method for you may be different from that of someone else with the same vein problems. That’s why it’s important to choose an experienced vein specialist for medical advice. He or she can take into account your condition and your unique individual needs.

 

 

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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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: , ,