What are Varicose Veins and Spider Veins?

 

The Vein Clinic Of San Diego

What are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are large and dilated blood vessels that bulge out of your skin’s surface. They look like a dense mass of tangled, knotted, and twisted ropes or branches.

Venous insufficiency is the primary root cause of varicose veins. The improper functioning of the deeper veins may lead to blood accumulation in your leg veins, leading to increased pressure on the vein walls and the eventual formation of bulging varicose veins. However, varicose veins can be worsened by several other factors — you’re far more likely to get varicose veins if it runs in the family (genetics) or if you’re female, pregnant, or have a sedentary desk job.

What are Spider Veins?

Spider veins, technically known as “telangiectasia” in medical terms, are small dilated blood vessels visible on the skin’s surface. They appear in dense clusters and often spread outwards like a spider web.

Spider veins occur due to the accumulation of blood in your leg veins. However, the underlying root cause of spider veins can often be traced down to a circulatory disorder known as “venous insufficiency” Patients experiencing venous insufficiency often have malfunctioning vein valves that lead to an increased pressure in the leg veins, which leads to spider veins. You may have a higher risk of getting spider veins if you’re female, pregnant, have a sedentary job, or if it runs in the family.

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Vein Disease Symptoms

Rеѕtlеѕѕ lеgѕ ѕуndrоmе (RLS)

Restless leg syndrome is a medical condition marked by an uncontrollable urge to move your legs, which can interfere with your sleep and other daily activities.

Restless leg syndrome may be caused by extended periods of inactivity. However, excessive restless leg syndrome is often indicative of underlying venous insufficiency, a circulatory disorder wherein ineffective blood circulation in your legs leads to blood accumulation in your leg veins. The resultant pressure in your veins leads to an insatiable urge to move your legs. 

The primary symptom of restless leg syndrome is an insatiable urge to move your legs. You may also experience pain, discomfort, general restlessness, exhaustion, and sleep deprivation.

LEG CRAMPS

Leg cramps are the sudden, involuntary, and painful contractions of your leg muscles, usually felt in the thighs or calves. Leg cramps in the calves are often called a “Charley Horse.”

Leg cramps may occur due to various factors, including electrolyte imbalance, dehydration, pregnancy, or underlying  vein problems. If you experience frequent leg cramps despite drinking enough water and observing a balanced diet, you should consult an accredited vein clinic in San Diego for a vein disease evaluation.

Leg cramps lead to involuntary spasms and contractions in your leg muscles, causing significant pain and discomfort. You may even wake up in the middle of the night with leg cramps.

LEG HEAVINESS

Lеg hеаvіnеѕѕ can be due to multiple different causes, but the most common cause is chronic venous insufficiency, a circulatory disorder of the veins in the legs. Leg heaviness due to vein disease tends to be worse with prolonged sitting or standing. Exercise usually improves symptoms, and heat makes them worse.

If you have noticed leg heaviness at the end of the day, particularly if you have visible spider and varicose veins on the surface of the skin, consider seeing a qualified vein doctor to be evaluated for venous insufficiency.

LEG SWELLING

Lеg ѕwеllіng, аlѕо known аѕ реrірhеrаl еdеmа, оссurѕ due tо аn аbnоrmаl ассumulаtіоn of fluid іn thе tіѕѕuеѕ оf the lоwеr еxtrеmіtу. It іѕ оftеn mоrе арраrеnt іn thе lоwеr аrеаѕ оf thе bоdу duе tо grаvіtу. Lеg ѕwеllіng іѕ mоѕt соmmоn іn оldеr аdultѕ

Cоmmоn саuѕеѕ оf lеg ѕwеllіng іnсludе ѕаlt rеtеntіоn, рrеgnаnсу, соngеѕtіvе heart fаіlurе, cellulitis, vеnоuѕ іnѕuffісіеnсу, аnd mеdісаtіоn ѕіdе еffесtѕ. Lеg ѕwеllіng саn bе treated with conservative measures such as wraps or compressions stockings, but the best way to treat leg swelling is by addressing the underlying issue.

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Causes of Vein Disease

Causes of Spider and Varicose Veins

Spider veins occur due to the accumulation of blood in your leg veins. However, the underlying root cause of spider veins can often be traced down to a circulatory disorder known as “venous insufficiency” Patients experiencing venous insufficiency often have malfunctioning vein valves that lead to an increased pressure in the leg veins, which leads to spider veins. You may have a higher risk of getting spider veins if you’re female, pregnant, have a sedentary job, or if it runs in the family.

Venous insufficiency is the primary root cause of varicose veins. The improper functioning of the deeper veins may lead to blood accumulation in your leg veins, leading to increased pressure on the vein walls and the eventual formation of bulging varicose veins. However, varicose veins can be worsened by several other factors — you’re far more likely to get varicose veins if it runs in the family (genetics) or if you’re female, pregnant, or have a sedentary desk job.

What is venous insufficiency?

Venous insufficiency is a common circulatory disorder wherein the collapse of your vein valves leads to ineffective blood circulation and the eventual accumulation of blood in your leg veins.

Healthy veins consist of small one-way doors (vein valves) that ensure smooth blood circulation to your heart, preventing it from flowing backward due to gravity. If your vein valves get damaged, the force of gravity may lead to blood accumulation in your leg veins. As such, the direct cause of venous insufficiency is the malfunctioning of your vein valves, which may happen due to age, pregnancy, hormonal changes, obesity, or a weakening of the vein walls due to a sedentary job or lifestyle.

At its early stages, venous insufficiency leads to leg heaviness, throbbing leg veins, restless leg syndrome, frequent leg cramps, and spider veins. However, the continued accumulation of blood in your leg veins may eventually lead to protruding varicose veins, skin discoloration, leg ulcers (non-healing wounds), and the formation of blood clots in your veins. Vein disease continues worsening with time.

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