Varicose veins are likely a health issue that you have heard of or even seen. But are they dangerous? If left untreated, varicose veins that are painful can be. Read below to learn about the hidden dangers that may arise if you are having painful varicose veins.
Varicose veins are bulging, twisted veins that are visible right under the skin. They commonly occur on the legs and are present in up to 30% of people.
Painful varicose veins get worse over time. As they worsen, you can develop new complications as a result. Hidden dangers of untreated varicose veins include:
Leg Swelling – When pressure builds in the veins, fluid can begin to leak into the tissue of the leg. This causes swelling. It’s visible as an impression left on the skin after wearing shoes or socks. Sometimes swelling makes shoes not fit at all. In more severe cases, clear or yellowish fluid may leak out.
Skin Ulcers – Because of the swelling caused by the varicose veins, the skin is stretched thin. This means that even the most minor injuries may not heal correctly or at all. Constant tension on the tissues can prevent healing as well, creating ulcers. Reducing swelling is key to treating these ulcers.
Skin Infection – Since the skin is stretching to accommodate the swelling, it interferes with the body’s defense against infection. Bacterial that is present on the skin to assist may get inside the body. Medication is needed to treat skin infections. Lessening the swelling can also help the infection resolve.
Bleeding – Varicose veins hold more blood than normal. Because that vein sits right under the skin, there is a higher risk of cuts and other injuries. There may be significant bleeding where there normally would only be a little. Even if the skin is not broken, there can be distinct bruising. It may also take longer than normal for bleeding to stop if the injury is large.
Thrombophlebitis – Blood is more likely to clot in a varicose vein. Up to three percent of people with varicose veins develop blood clots. The area becomes painful and warm to the touch, and the vein can become hard.
Deep Vein Thrombosis – As the varicose veins worsen, there is a major risk of blood clots developing in the deeper veins. This is called deep vein thrombosis. It can cause the leg to become swollen, warm, red, and painful. The biggest risk is that the blood clots may break off and move to the lungs. This could cause a life-threatening condition called pulmonary embolism.
If you have varicose veins, it is important to have them checked out by a medical professional. If you begin to see redness, liquids, or other symptoms, seek medical attention immediately. Surgery is not the only option in these cases. There are minimally invasive alternatives available.
At South Valley Vascular, your health is our number one priority. Give us a call today to set up an appointment at one of our five locations with our trained vascular surgeon. Learn more about varicose veins and the damage they can cause at South Valley Vascular.