Top 10 Things to Know About Varicose Veins

Top 10 Things to Know About Varicose Veins

Top 10 Things to Know About Varicose Veins 150 150 daniadmin


Varicose veins are large,  distorted blood vessels that appear above the skin due to unhealthy circulation. If you are one of the millions of people to suffer from varicose vein leg pain, then we present this article to understand the 10 most important facts before considering vein treatment.

1. Varicose vein disease affects 1 out of 4 individuals

Having varicose veins is quite common with at least 30 million Americans being affected.   1 out of every 3 women will have some form of varicose veins and the increased incidence is thought to be secondary to hormonal factors. Still, 1 out of every 5 men also develops varicose veins.  The risk for varicose veins increases if you have a family history of this condition. You have a 60% chance of developing varicose veins if one parent is affected, and almost 90% if both your parents suffer from varicose veins.  A vein specialist can help you better understand the significance of your condition and prevent future complications.

2. Varicose veins are associated with specific symptoms.

Varicose veins do not have to be visible to cause symptoms or late-stage complications.  While visible varicose veins and symptoms are a good reason to seek out a consultation with a vein specialist, we also recommend patients consider these symptoms as an indication of venous insufficiency (the underlying cause of varicose veins):

  • Leg cramps particularly towards the end of the day
  • Leg heaviness
  • Increased numbers of spider veins
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Charley horses (intense leg cramps particularly over palpable veins)
  • Knee pain at the back of the leg

3.  Varicose veins reflect the presence of underlying venous disease.

Varicose veins are often misinterpreted as being cosmetic only. However, in many instances, there can be an underlying issue such as chronic venous insufficiency.  In this condition, blood circulating in the superficial veins of the legs is hampered by poor functioning valves. While genetics plays the biggest role in developing venous insufficiency, several lifestyle factors can worsen the condition.  Treating venous insufficiency is the primary goal in resolving varicose veins and preventing more serious symptoms like leg ulcerations, skin discoloration or DVT.

4. Lifestyle changes can help control the symptoms of varicose veins.

Having varicose veins is very treatable and involves your participation as well.  Regular exercise, weight loss, and leg elevation are important ways to reduce the stress on your varicose veins in the legs.  We also strongly recommend wearing comfortable footwear especially during long periods of standing. High-heels and elevated platform shoes reduce the ability of our calf muscles to pump blood effectively.  We cannot complete our recommendations without speaking about the importance of compression stockings. Ideally, medical-grade 2 compression stockings with 20-30 mmHg of grade compression are advised for varicose vein treatment.

5. There are no proven home remedies that work on varicose veins

Horse chestnut, CBD, and essential oils are common questions are vein doctors receive about treating symptoms naturally.  While we do not discourage trials of natural therapies, we do recommend the treatments are part of a comprehensive strategy developed by your vein specialist.  Exercise and compression stockings should be included in the plan and continuing symptoms should be addressed with definitive treatments.

6. Today’s Varicose Vein Treatments are minimally-invasive and highly effective

Catheter-based techniques and formulated medications have entirely replaced surgical treatments for varicose veins.  These procedures are associated with no incisions and incredibly safe and effective outcomes. In fact, with RF ablation and VenaSeal, the literature shows greater than 90% cure rates in the long-term analysis.  Most importantly, the procedures can be done in less than a half-hour with no downtime afterward.


7. Don’t Assume Every Vein Specialist is Equal

There are no formal training programs to be a phlebologist or vein doctor.  As such, this has been used by unscrupulous doctors to parade as vascular specialists without any formal training.  To guarantee you are seeing a qualified vein expert, we recommend visiting only dedicated vein centers staffed by residency trained vascular specialists with board certifications in either vascular surgery, interventional radiology or interventional cardiology.   Dermatologists and medical spas offering spider vein treatments do not have the facilities to adequately diagnose or treat venous insufficiency. Without looking for an underlying issue, you can end up wasting hundreds or even thousands of dollars with laser treatments for spider veins.
8. Varicose Veins is a life-long condition that requires continued attention

While today’s vein treatments are incredibly effective, the purpose of vein treatment is to cure the issue at hand.  We have hundreds of veins in our legs and while symptoms can be easily cured with today’s treatments, there is a need to continue regular follow-ups with your vein doctor to monitor the health of the other leg veins.  Spider veins may also need occasional touch-ups from time to time as seen in other parts of the cosmetic industry with botox, fillers, and injectables. This will be far easier to manage if the underlying venous insufficiency has been corrected by a qualified vein specialist.

9. Untreated varicose veins are not entirely benign

A percentage of patients with chronic venous insufficiency will progress and have more serious medical conditions.  These concerns include improper wound healing, skin eczema or stasis dermatitis, skin discoloration, leg ulcerations, and infections.    If the varicose vein is disturbed, profuse bleeding can also result and have been some of the presentations we have seen in our clinic. Another serious consequence is deep vein thrombosis, which refers to the formation of blood clots in the leg veins and can be fatal.  One study found the risk of DVTs to be increased five-fold in the presence of varicose veins and was reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

10. Treatment for varicose veins has a minimum or no side effects

In the hands of qualified vein specialists, today’s vein treatments are incredibly safe.  However great outcomes depend only on proper training, but also the proper equipment. Comprehensive vein clinics will maintain state-of-the-art facilities for diagnosis and treatment.  Duplex ultrasound is one of the most important tools in vein treatment because it allows the vein doctor to explore beneath the surface of the skin and accurately diagnose symptoms of venous insufficiency.

Are you interested in learning more about varicose veins and successful treatment options?  Reach out to our vein clinic today at 609-257-2095 or visit us at to book an appointment.

Vein Specialists Near Me