Risks Associated with Varicose Veins

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Hi! I am Dr M Szalay and today I am going to talk about risks aligned with varicose veins.

In addition to being unsightly, there are risks associated with varicose veins. It is important to be aware of these potential issues.

Varicose veins usually occur in women and can appear twisted, swollen and usually purple or blue. While most people are not bothered by their bulging veins, the condition can develop complications in some people when left untreated.

Here is a summary of some of these potential problems.

Itchy skin

It is possible to develop dry and itchy skin over the affected veins. Whilst this doesn’t require immediate treatment, it may signal a worsening of the underlying varicose veins.

As the varicose veins continue to deteriorate, there is poor drainage of the blood from the lower legs. The skin condition can also worsen and lead to varicose eczema which is characterized by red, flaky and scaly skin which can develop rashes and blisters.

Bleeding

The skin may become more fragile, resulting in it being more easily damaged. If the skin over the bulging vein is injured, bleeding may occur. The heavy bleeding may be difficult to stop but can be controlled by applying firm pressure to the bleeding point and elevating the affected leg.

Ulcers

Varicose veins interrupt the blood flow preventing the blood from draining properly through the skin. Even a small scratch, injury or any other skin change can fail to heal and develop into an  ulcer. Varicose ulcers usually form on the inner leg around the ankle and are painful.

Phlebitits

Inflammation can occur in the veins resulting in surface blood clots which make the skin around the affected area hard, red and tender to touch. Phlebitis can be painful but is not life threatening and can be easily treated.

Treatment options for varicose veins sclerotherapy, ambulatory phlebectomy and endovenous laser therapy.

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