Posted on: 22 September 2018Share
Do you find yourself looking more closely at your legs these days? Are you staring at veins that appear to swell up when you're sitting down and go away when you elevate? You may have noticed a development in this condition over the past few months, and this may be accompanied by a "heavy" feeling or swelling. This sounds like a case of varicose veins, which is quite common in the adult population and especially in women who are pregnant. Do you need to worry though, and what should you do about it?
Many people can live with varicose veins without any issue, but sometimes you will need to see a general doctor, who may refer you to a vascular surgeon.
For example, if you happen to notice a change in colour within your lower legs, this could be caused by pigmentation associated with iron. When pressure within the veins is increased, the iron content of your red blood cells can leak out and attach to the skin.
Alternatively, you may have developed a condition known as "varicose eczema," which is a scaly and dry rash. This condition can lead to the development of ulcers, which can bleed if you scratch the area incessantly.
You may notice that the wall of the vein in question seems to be inflamed, reddened, hard and painful. This is a condition known as thrombophlebitis, and in some cases, it can be treated with anti-inflammatories.
Sometimes, however, this type of condition can develop into a more serious problem called deep-vein thrombosis. You may have heard of this condition, as it is sometimes associated with long-haul flights. You should get this looked at quite soon, however, and your doctor may well refer you to a vascular surgeon.
A surgeon will have a close look at the situation and will recommend a course of action. Sometimes they may treat individual veins on an outpatient basis and under local anaesthetic, during which they may isolate the problem vein by closing it off using a special type of foam.
Often, these conditions can be alleviated through changes in lifestyle or diet, elevating your leg for periods of time or using compression stockings to help relieve the swelling.
Taking a Look
Your first step if you are worried about this situation is to see your doctor and get a referral to a vascular surgeon if necessary.