If your veins appear swollen and twisted, and are bluish in color, you may have varicose or spider veins, common conditions that generally affect the legs and feet of men and women. In many cases, varicose veins are a cosmetic insecurity and are harmless. In other instances, they can cause serious discomfort or aching, or put you at risk for blood clots.
What causes varicose & spider veins?
Weakened valves or increased pressure in your legs can cause veins to become enlarged. When valves are faulty, blood can flow backward and cause veins to stretch or twist. Other risk factors for varicose and spider veins include prolonged sitting/standing, age, family history, obesity, and pregnancy.
What are the symptoms?
Varicose and spider veins usually do not cause any pain. When symptoms do occur, you may experience swelling, throbbing, or an achy or heavy feeling in your legs. There may also be skin discoloration or itching around the vein area. For some, varicose and spider veins are only a cosmetic concern, but for others, they can lead to more serious issues.
Thanks to modern advances in medicine, there are a number of low-risk procedures and self-care treatments available. These can range from compression socks and lifestyle changes to sclerotherapy (small injections), and minimally invasive surgery. A physical exam is required to determine the severity of varicose veins before creating a personalized treatment plan. Fortunately, most treatments can be performed in the office and patients can return home the same day.
Board-Certified Vascular Surgeons
Complimentary online screening
UT Physicians offers a convenient and secure way to get a preliminary screening for your veins at no cost. By completing the online questionnaire, our experts will review your photos and symptoms, and will contact you to discuss next steps.