Varicose veins are enlarged, discolored, and twisted veins that stand out against the skin and the rest of the body’s veins. Varicose veins are essentially damaged veins that no longer have functioning blood vessel valves that help pump blood through the veins in the right direction.
Varicose veins can develop anywhere in the body but are more likely to develop in the lower extremities because our legs and feet bear the brunt of our body weight when we stand and walk.
Risk Factors for Varicose Veins
Varicose veins can develop in people of all ages and backgrounds. However, there are risk factors that can increase a person’s chances of developing the condition. Here are some risk factors to keep in mind:
- Aging – The older we get, the greater our chance of developing varicose veins as the veins experience wear and tear as we age.
- Genetics – Varicose veins can be passed down through genetics. If you have family members with the condition, you may be more likely to develop it yourself.
- Certain Occupations – Occupations that require extensive standing or walking for several hours a day increase the pressure on the veins in the legs and feet. Some examples include cashiers, teachers, and construction workers.
- Weight – Individuals who are overweight or obese have significant added pressure on their bodies. The extra weight puts more pressure on the lower extremities, increasing the chances of developing varicose veins.
- Hormonal Changes – Hormonal changes like puberty, pregnancy, and menopause can also cause varicose veins to develop.
What Causes Varicose Veins in the Feet?
The feet bear the weight and pressure from the entire body when we stand or walk. Because of this, there is a strong chance that veins in the feet can become varicose. This is particularly true for individuals who have the risk factors mentioned above. While most people experience varicose veins in the lower legs, many people also develop them in the feet. Make sure to examine your feet for any unusual looking veins and see a veins specialist if you notice anything out of the ordinary.
Some symptoms of varicose veins include swelling, pain, burning, itching, and tingling in the feet where the varicose veins exist. Some people only experience cosmetic symptoms like large, discolored veins. However, this does not mean that other symptoms will not develop later on. The longer varicose veins go untreated, the more symptoms you will eventually develop because the condition continues to worsen over time.
Varicose veins can be treated in a variety of ways and technological advancements have made the procedures faster, less painful, and more efficient. Some of the most popular ways of treating varicose veins include:
- Sclerotherapy – This treatment involves injecting a medicine into the damaged veins to close them off, forcing blood to reroute through healthier veins. This prevents blood from pooling in the veins.
- Ablation – Ablation involves closing off the veins through surgical procedures. By physically closing out the veins, blood can no longer flow through them and the veins eventually get reabsorbed by the body.
If you are looking for an experienced and high-quality vein and vascular medical center that specializes in a variety of vascular and vein-related conditions, Premier Vein & Vascular is the place for you.
Premier Vein & Vascular of Tampa and Largo, Florida excel in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of vascular diseases such as stroke, chronic venous insufficiency, deep vein thrombosis, varicose veins, and poor circulation. To learn more, please contact the vascular and cardiology healthcare professionals at Premier Vein & Vascular by calling 1-888-VEINCARE. You can also use their convenient online appointment request form.