Four reasons you should never ignore varicose veins

8th August 2018 by Daryll Baker0
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Varicose veins, they’re just niggly veins that appear as we get older, which look unsightly but don’t do us any harm, right? Wrong! Whilst varicose veins can lead to nothing more than cosmetic concerns, for some patients, when left untreated, these unsightly blemishes under the skin can lead to several serious medical conditions.

Take a look at the following four reasons why you should never lead varicose veins untreated.

Venous leg ulcers

A venous leg ulcer can develop if there is an issue with the circulation of blood in the veins of the legs. As the NHS notes, people with varicose veins caused by malfunctioning valves, are amongst those most at risk from developing a venous leg ulcer. Symptoms of a venous leg ulcer include itching, pain and swelling in the affected leg.

Hyperpigmentation

Untreated varicose veins can lead to a condition known as hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation is the darkening of the and discolouration of the skin, which can be caused by excess blood leaking into the tissues of the leg because of untreated varicose veins.

Lipodermatosclerosis

Lipodermatosclerosis refers a condition whereby the tissues in the legs stiffen and harden. This condition is believed to be caused by venous disease, such as venous hypertension and incompetence, as well as obesity. Someone suffering from lipodermatosclerosis can feel as if their legs are becoming progressively tender, making movement increasingly more difficult.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is condition to describe blood clots that develop in the veins. DVT typically occurs in a deep leg vein, or a larger vein, which runs through the muscles in the thigh and calf. DVT can cause swelling and pain and can potentially lead to other complications, such as pulmonary embolism and if the condition is left untreated, it can be life-threatening.

Treating varicose veins

There is a number of ways to treat varicose veins, depending on the severity of the condition. Treatment includes varicose vein surgery, radiofrequency ablation, endovenous laser, varicose vein avulsions, sclerotherapy and non-surgical treatment, such as using compression stockings.

Acting sooner rather than later can minimise the pain and discomfort caused by varicose veins and can help prevent more serious conditions from manifesting due to varicose veins being left untreated. To discuss the different kinds of treatment for varicose veins and which would be right for you, get in touch with the vascular health experts at the Vascular Consultancy.


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Daryll Baker is a Consultant Vascular Surgeon at the Royal Free Hospital London and Clinical Lead for North Central Region Vascular Services.

He read Medicine at Oxford University and trained in Vascular Surgery in Nottingham, London and Edinburgh. He obtained his research PhD from the University of Wales.

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