Varicose Veins come in all shapes and sizes and affect millions of people worldwide.

In fact, it’s estimated that 80 million Americans suffer from one form of Venous Disorder. They often appear as blue or purple discolorations under the skin’s surface, usually on the legs. Factors contributing to Varicose Veins include heredity, aging, prolonged standing, pregnancy or weight gain, leg injury or trauma.

 

Varicose Veins

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Vein Disorders are caused when blood doesn’t flow properly through the vein back to the heart. The pooling of blood in that vein causes it to swell, leading to discoloration and discomfort. Larger veins become varicose veins while smaller veins are known as spider veins. Because most veins lie deep below the skin’s surface, not all vein disorders are visible to the naked eye. This is why it is so important to see a doctor.


Spider Veins

Spider veins, also called telangiectasia or angioectasias, are similar to varicose veins but smaller and closer to the surface. They are known as spider veins because of their short, jagged lines, which can look like spider webs.

These tiny blood vessels under the skin can appear on legs, thighs, ankles, or in some cases, the face, and they are generally red, blue, or purple.

Spider veins can be caused by the backup of blood from larger veins. They can also be caused by age, obesity, hormonal changes, sun exposure, injuries, prolonged standing, and hereditary factors. Sclerotherapy is one of the treatments that we use to treat Spider Veins. Watch a Sclerotherapy Treatment.

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Venous Insufficiency

Improper functioning of the vein valves in the leg, causing swelling and skin changes. The veins in your legs carry blood back to your heart. They have one-way valves that keep blood from flowing backward. If you have chronic venous insufficiency, the valves don’t work like they should and some of the blood may go back down into your legs.

That causes blood to pool or collect in the veins. Symptoms include varicose veins, swelling, or skin color changes on the affected leg. If the condition progresses, leg ulcers can form.

 

Leg Cramps

Cramps, or involuntary muscle contractions, are uncomfortable but often considered harmless and a minor inconvenience. However, cramps may be a sign of an underlying circulatory disorder. Nocturnal leg cramps are quite painful and cause the affected muscles to feel tight or knotted. Symptoms may last from several seconds up to several minutes.

There might also be muscle soreness after the cramp goes away. Some medical conditions such as Chronic Venous Insufficiency may cause leg cramps as a symptom of a larger vascular issue.

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Leg Swelling

Swelling in the legs, also known as peripheral edema, can be due to a number of causes. Due to gravity, swelling is usually most prominent in the foot and ankle region. Common causes of leg and swelling include: salt retention, pregnancy, congestive heart failure, cellulitis, Chronic Venous Insufficiency and medication side effects.

Less common causes of leg swelling include blood clots in the leg, lymphedema, infections, kidney disease, liver disease, broken legs and ankles or other traumatic injuries. When swelling occurs for no apparent reason, it is called idiopathic edema.


Leg Heaviness

Leg heaviness and fatigue can be due to a number of causes including venous insufficiency. Leg heaviness caused by venous insufficiency is often accompanied by a dull aching sensation and is worse at the end of the day, with prolonged sitting or standing, and in warm weather. These symptoms may be subtle and may build up progressively over time, so many people mistake them for part of the normal aging process.

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Restless Legs Syndrome

Restless legs syndrome is characterized by an uncontrollable urge to move the legs. Uncontrollable sensations in the legs such as tingling, itching, burning or throbbing can also affect the chest, arms and face. They can be mild or severe, and are usually worse during the night and the evening.

Often times, these symptoms can be relieved by rubbing or moving the legs. Some people experience them daily, others occasionally. The condition can affect any person, although it is more common in women.