Nearly 30 million Americans suffer from vein disease. It’s common, chronic, and the symptoms including varicose veins and spider veins can be debilitating.
A normal, healthy vein contains valves that keep blood flowing in the correct direction – from the feet back to the heart. Vein disease occurs when either (or both) the valves or vein walls weaken, stretch or become damaged. Blood can then flow backward, which is called venous reflux. Venous reflux can increase pressure in the veins, causing more stretching, twisting and swelling. This process leads to a variety of vein disease symptoms, including:
- Ankle and leg swelling (edema)
- Throbbing in the legs
- Fatigued legs
- Leg pain
- Restless legs (especially at night)
- Cramps (including night cramps)
- Itching and/or burning
- Skin pigmentation or discoloration
- Skin thickening or hardening
Varicose Veins and Spider Veins are Symptoms of Vein Disease
It is not just a cosmetic problem – it goes much deeper and there are two telltale, visible signs. Varicose veins and spider veins are symptoms of vein disease and they may be telling you more than you think.
Varicose Veins vs. Spider Veins
Varicose veins are ropey, twisted, raised and bloated-looking veins in your legs.
Spider veins are tiny red or purple veins on the surface of your legs that may be asymptomatic, but can be associated with venous reflux in larger veins in the legs. In cases of more severe chronic venous reflux, skin breakdown, swelling, discoloration and ulcers may appear.
If pain in your legs keeps you from being physically active, this can have a domino effect on the rest of your health. We like to say that vein disease is not life threatening, but it is life altering. If left untreated, you may not be able to enjoy the same quality of life and wellness as in years past. More so, if you have visible signs of vein disease, you will also enjoy the cosmetic benefits of treating vein disease. It’s a double benefit of great care – you’ll look and feel better!