Veins that have become enlarged, dilated, and engorged with blood are known as varicose veins. While they tend to develop in the legs and feet, the condition can technically affect any vein in the body. There are several factors that can increase the risk and predispose a person to develop them, but the most common cause is prolonged periods of uninterrupted standing or sitting, which can interfere with circulation. Repeatedly sitting or standing for hours puts excessive pressure on the veins and reduces blood flow, which causes the veins to swell and eventually protrude. Varicose veins can appear bulky and rope-like under the skin.
Varicose Vein Diagnosis and Treatment in Edina, MN
Anyone can develop varicose veins, but they are more common in women. As people age, veins begin to lose elasticity, which makes it more difficult for the valves to effectively pump blood back towards the heart, causing it to pool in the veins. As a result, the risk of developing varicose veins also increases with age.
Other risk factors include:
- Heredity and family history - they tend to run in families, so having a parent or close relative with varicose veins can also increase the risks
- Obesity/being overweight - excessive weight puts additional pressure on the veins which can cause them to swell and protrude
Are Varicose Veins Dangerous?
In most cases, they do not pose a health risk and are generally a cosmetic problem. However, Dr. Whitney D. Tope, a dermatologist at Academic Dermatology Cutaneous Surgery & Laser Center in Edina, MN, recommends seeking treatment if symptoms develop. In some cases, they can cause pain and discomfort, and lead to rare but potentially serious complications like ulcers, bleeding, and blood clots.
Find a Dermatologist in Edina
Varicose and spider veins can be a cosmetic nuisance and affect self-esteem and quality of life, as well as cause potentially serious complications in rare cases. For more information on safe and effective treatment options, contact Academic Dermatology Cutaneous Surgery & Laser Center in Edina by calling (952) 746-6090 to schedule a consultation today.