What is Venous Disease?

Venous Disease occurs when a vein in not functioning properly, causing a disturbance in normal blood flow. The cause of most vein problems is venous insufficiency. This happens when veins widen and stretch (dilate) and the valves are not able to close properly. Because of this, diseased veins have difficulty carrying blood back to the heart.

Many factors can cause a vein to become damaged or weakened. When a vein dilates, the valve in the vein may malfunction and permit blood to flow in the wrong direction. No one really knows what comes first, a vein wall weakness, or a problem with a valve, but the end result is the same. There are several forms of venous disease including; varicose veins, spider veins, ulcers of the leg, and phlebitis.

While there is no cure for venous disease, experienced doctors are able to alleviate most of the symptoms of venous disease. Many treatment options exist and many more are on the horizon. Rest assured, these treatment options provide both the medical and cosmetic results that patient’s desire.

  Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are abnormal, dilated blood vessels caused by a weakening in the vessel wall. They may appear as enlarged veins and can be blue, red, or flesh-colored. They often look like cords and appear twisted and bulging. They can be swollen and raised above the surface of the skin. Varicose veins are often found on the thighs, backs of the calves, or the inside of the leg. During pregnancy, varicose veins can form around the vagina and buttocks. Diagnosing the root cause of varicose veins is essential to its proper treatment. With varicose vein disorders, vein failure occurs within the valves, allowing blood to leak backwards, causing congestion and enlargement of the vessel. Over time this can lead to swelling of the ankles and legs, skin breakdown, poorly healing wounds, severe pain and aching and complaints of “heaviness” or “tired” legs. Treatment of the varicose veins must include eliminating the source of failure to give maximum results.  


   Spider Veins

Spider veins are like varicose veins but smaller. They also are closer to the surface of the skin than varicose veins. Often, they are red or blue. They can look like tree branches or spiderwebs with their short, jagged lines. They can be found on the legs and face and can cover either a very small or very large area of skin. Millions of individuals, especially women, suffer from unsightly spider veins. This embarrassment often causes sufferers to feel self-conscious, causing them to hide their legs, avoiding bathing suits and shorts.   

For many people, varicose veins and spider veins are simply a cosmetic concern. For other people, varicose veins can cause aching pain and discomfort. Sometimes varicose veins lead to more-serious problems. Varicose veins may also signal a higher risk of other circulatory problems. Treatment may involve self-care measures or procedures by your doctor to close or remove veins.