Spider Veins: More Serious Than Just a Cosmetic Issue
Our Orlando vein center knows that many adults, both men and women, often believe that spider veins are nothing more than a minor nuisance that arrives with the passing of time. The general consensus seems to be that spider veins are unsightly, annoying, and can also cause mild to moderate discomfort. Folks are quick to dismiss the potential severity of these ugly little webs of discoloration until they begin to bulge, seriously discolor the skin, pain begins or increases, or an itchy or burning feeling is felt in the legs, ultimately forcing them to seek medical attention. Please take note – the first appearance of spider veins can be more serious than you think.
To understand why spider veins should be considered a more severe issue, we need to know what causes them. Venous insufficiency is caused when the flow of blood returning to the heart from the limbs is drastically reduced, typically as a result of a defect in the valve of the vein that results in a backward seepage of the blood. The blood cannot circulate in a normal fashion back to the heart, and in turn, begins to collect and pool, resulting in varicosity, which is a swelling of the vein. The small veins closest to the skins surface swell with the pooling blood, and manifest themselves by appearing in a crooked and/or web-like pattern across the affected area. Spider veins may also result from injury, hormonal changes, and exposure to the sun.
Pooling, non-circulating blood can form a clot, which can result in a condition called phlebitis. Phlebitis is extremely painful. The skin is warm to the touch, and there is swelling. Phlebitis is treatable and normally not life threatening. Anti-inflammatory medication, warm compresses, support hose, and elevation are usually the prescribed course of treatment. However, if a blood clot in a superficial vein begins to grow, it can then travel into a deeper vein. This is where things can become quite serious. This type of clot, also diagnosed as a deep vein thrombosis (DVT), is capable of breaking free from the vein and traveling into the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism. DVT’s can be treated with a course of blood thinning (anti-coagulant) medication, compression stockings, and rest. Venous skin ulcerations can also result from severe venous disease.
It is important to consult an Orlando vein center specialist about your spider veins, and to have them periodically monitored, to help prevent them from turning into a potentially serious medical issue. Contact Florida Vein Care and Cosmetic Center today at (407) 805-8989, and schedule an appointment with Dr. Bragg for a complete vein health check-up. Keep your legs healthy and full of vitality.