Many cases of varicose veins are simply cosmetic. Treating them can increase your confidence when wearing your favorite shorts or shoes. However, some varicose veins can become itchy, uncomfortable or painful. These are signs that it’s time to treat these varicose veins. If left untreated, there is the potential for more severe problems in the future.
When blood builds up in the veins, leading to the purple and blue veins we see, the excess can leak out into the surrounding area. You may feel like your skin is too tight or perhaps see impressions in your skin after removing your socks. If your shoes don’t fit or your skin begins to leak fluid, elevation and compression socks may help. Your doctor should address severe swelling.
Persistent or severe swelling can reduce the skin’s natural ability to heal. Even a scratch may have a hard time healing. When the skin is stretched, the area doesn’t receive the same nutrients and oxygen as healthy tissue. Reducing the swelling is the first step to healing these ulcers, which often means treating the varicose veins.
Any open wound is susceptible to infection, even from the natural bacteria that live on our skin. The longer the wound takes to heal, the greater the chance for infection, so it’s essential to treat them as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, the swelling also reduces our natural defense against infection, which greatly increases the problem’s severity.
A varicose vein contains much more blood than a healthy one. This extra blood gets backed up in the vein once it becomes twisted. It is similar to what happens when you kink your garden hose. These veins also sit just beneath the skin, which is why they are so visible. A cut in an area with varicose veins can lead to more bleeding that takes longer to stop. If you take blood thinners or daily aspirin, this can lead to a much bigger problem.
While not as common, blood clots can develop in varicose veins. You may feel the vein become hard, painful and warm to the touch. A larger percentage of those who develop blood clots in a varicose vein will develop clots in deeper veins. Deep vein thrombosis is a condition that requires immediate medical care.
Whether you’d like to reduce the appearance of varicose veins or they have become uncomfortable, your first step is to find out your options for treatment. Call (212) 254-0149 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Karl Zhang.