Spider veins and varicose veins are sometimes viewed as being unsightly and can cause some people to feel self-conscious about their appearance or even look down on themselves. Unfortunately, the effects of these conditions go beyond emotions. If you have spider veins or varicose veins (or both), you have to realize that they can lead to medical problems if you leave them untreated.
Spider veins are thin, fine lines that are red or purple in color and appear just beneath the surface of the skin of your legs. They’re not a serious medical condition, but they can cause discomfort in certain situations. They can cause you to feel a burning sensation and cause your skin to be itchy, giving you the urge to scratch it constantly. Depending on their location and your skin type, they can also be prone to bleeding, particularly when you shave your legs. Of course, if you leave them untreated, they can increase in number and become more prominent and noticeable.
Spider veins can exist on their own, or be associated with varicose veins. This means that, if you have spider veins, you might be more likely to develop varicose veins or may even already have them.
Varicose veins can be more serious than spider veins. In the early stages, you may not feel anything nor notice any changes to your skin. However, over time, you might observe changes in your legs’ appearance and feel the symptoms that are associated with this condition. Some of these symptoms include pain, swelling, and a feeling of fatigue and heaviness in your legs, particularly when you stand up or sit down for long periods of time. Your legs may also feel restless, and the skin on them may become itchy.
If you fail to get treatment for your varicose veins, they could get worse and reach an advanced stage. Several complications can arise when this happens, and one of these is lipodermosclerosis, which is the inflammation of the skin and subcutaneous fat. This develops when blood pools in your veins and increases the pressure in them, causing fibrin and other substances to leak out into the surrounding tissues and making them inflamed.
Venous leg ulcers, which are open sores on the legs, can also develop when varicose veins are left untreated for a long time. The high pressure inside the leg veins damages the small veins in the skin, causing the skin to become itchy, inflamed, and more prone to developing sores even when exposed to minimal trauma. Because of the poor blood flow in the legs, these sores don’t heal right away and can become infected over time.
While these conditions do not occur in most cases of varicose veins, they illustrate common things that can occur in advanced cases of varicose veins. To avoid these scenarios, if you have varicose veins, you should seek medical attention from a vascular surgeon who specializes in the treatment of vein diseases. If you live in New Jersey, for example, get in touch with us here at Shore Vascular & Vein Center. We specialize in varicose vein and spider vein removal in the Atlantic County, Cape May County and Ocean County, NJ and surrounding areas and use state-of-the-art procedures and equipment to treat these vascular conditions.