Varicose veins are enlarged, twisted veins that are visible under your skin. When most people think of varicose veins, they picture long, blue or purple veins that run down the legs. Although the legs are the most common place for varicose veins to appear, they can develop from veins all over body.
Some of the less common locations for varicose veins include the chest, arms, and on the genitals. Because varicose veins are visible, many people opt to have them removed for cosmetic reasons. Safe removal of varicose veins can restore the appearance and texture of the skin.
What Do Veins Do?
Veins work with arteries to circulate blood throughout your body. The heart pumps blood that is filled with oxygen through the arteries and the veins carry the blood back to the heart to be enriched with oxygen for the arteries to redistribute. The veins often have to work against gravity to reach the heart. Valves in the veins open and close to help move the blood along, working together with muscular contractions. Veins are generally closer to the surface of the skin than arteries.
What Can Cause Varicose Veins?
If the valves inside of veins do not function perfectly, blood can flow back down due to gravity and pool within the vein. In the case of your legs, the deoxygenated blood has such a long distance to travel upwards that the valves may be the first to weaken and fail to close all the way. Another cause of varicose veins is loss of elasticity. Veins do not contract back to their usual shape, which can cause the twists found in varicose veins.
Some Risk Factors for Varicose Veins
Older adults are more likely to develop varicose veins due to wear and tear of the valves. Women have blood vessels that are more flexible than those of men, which also can allow the veins to become enlarged over time. Pregnant women may have varicose veins partly because of the increase in blood volume in the body, and later in pregnancy, from the weight and pressure of the uterus. Being overweight and sitting or standing too long can contribute to the development of varicose veins.
Varicose Veins Can Be Anywhere
Most varicose veins develop in the legs, feet, and other parts of the lower body because blood has to work against gravity to return to the heart. However, an injury or surgery may create stress on the veins anywhere in the body, causing varicose veins to appear.
Why Treat Varicose Veins?
Because veins are usually close to the surface of your skin, bulging, blue veins are not an attractive sight. If left untreated, burning and pain may develop from the buildup of blood pooling in the veins. The good news is that treatment is easier than you think.
Unlike traditional removal of varicose veins by surgical stripping, today’s modern treatments for large veins include Endovenous Laser Therapy and Harmony Laser Therapy. These are in-office procedures for the safe and successful treatment of varicose veins.
If you live in the Kingwood, Texas area and are ready to say goodbye to your varicose veins, wherever they are on your body, call The Vein Institute & MediSpa at 281-312-0208. The talented and caring team of providers is led by founder Dr. Raymond Little, a board-certified physician with a passion for vascular and aesthetic skin care. Call or request an appointment online today.