Spider and varicose veins are a common issue, especially among women over the age of 40. If you have these vein issues, or are wondering if you may develop one soon, it’s worth learning about them and the methods you can use to prevent them.
What Are Varicose And Spider Veins?
Veins are blood vessels that move blood from every corner of the body to the heart and lungs for re-oxygenation. They contain tiny check valves that prevent blood from pooling in the extremities.
When these valves no longer work well, blood backs up and pools, thus enlarging the faulty veins. When tiny, superficial veins are affected, purple to red spider veins can form, most commonly on the face, legs, feet, and ankles. If larger veins are affected, blue, twisted varicose veins (varicosities) can form, most commonly in the lower extremities and rectum (hemorrhoids).
Besides their displeasing and embarrassing appearance, spider and varicose veins may cause discomfort. People report experiencing leg fatigue, pain, swelling, and other symptoms. If severe enough, varicose veins may develop risky ulcerations and blood clots. These clots can move to the heart and lungs–a definite medical emergency.
What Contributes To Their Formation?
Heredity contributes to both spider and varicose veins. In other words, spider and varicose veins run in families. Additionally, gender contributes to their formation: more women than men experience spider and varicose veins.
Finally, obesity, pregnancy, lack of exercise, straining to lift heavy weights, smoking, and low-fiber intake all place undue stress on veins. These lifestyle factors can increase the risk of spider and varicose vein formation. Finally, as you age, your chances of developing these issues inevitably increases.
What Preventative Measures Can I Take?
While you may not be able to avoid spider and varicose veins altogether, there are steps you can take to minimize their number and severity. Frankly, there are easy, common sense strategies which can benefit your health in other ways, as well. Prevention includes:
- Keeping within a healthy weight range
- Staying hydrated
- Smoking cessation (see your PCP for help)
- Avoiding tight-fitting clothing, particularly at the waist
- Exercising regularly (simple walking increases circulation and helps controls weight gain)
- Getting up and moving frequently
- Elevating your legs at the end of a long workday
- Seeing your vein doctor in Palm Harbor, FL, if you see bulging or spider-like veins or feel pain or heaviness in your legs
This last strategy is very important. Consulting with a vascular surgeon can keep this vascular condition from worsening and help you avoid dangerous complications.
Your Vein Specialist in Tampa Bay
In Palm Harbor, FL, vascular surgeon Dr. Edward Mackay offers the latest in diagnostic and treatment techniques for spider and varicose veins, including sclerotherapy, radiofrequency ablation, and endovenous laser therapy. Why not see him for a friendly and helpful in-office consultation?
Call our office team today to book your appointment: (727) 349-5652, or request your visit online. We look forward to helping you achieve great vascular health!