When to seek medical treatment for varicose veins

Thank goodness, it’s highly unlikely you will ever find yourself in the emergency room due to your varicose veins. Those twisted, bulging blood vessels are a nuisance—and a painful one—but almost never pose a threat to life or limb. That being said, there are times when you should seek medical treatment for your varicose veins.

Seek medical treatment if your varicose veins are bleeding

Varicose veins are fragile and can easily rupture. The simple act of shaving your legs or accidentally bumping into a piece of furniture could lead to profuse bleeding. They may even bleed spontaneously simply because too much pressure builds up inside them. 

A bleeding varicose vein can be quite dramatic and scary, but don’t panic. If this happens, cover the injury with a clean cloth or gauze and apply pressure for several minutes. The bleeding should stop on its own so long as you keep consistent pressure on it (resisting the urge to peek at it every few seconds). Then, make an appointment to see your doctor to discuss further care and how to prevent this from happening again. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, seek medical attention right away to evaluate if you need stitches or other treatment.

Ask your doctor about managing and preventing chronic sores 

When varicose veins are left untreated for a long time, the skin on your legs may deteriorate. For some patients this leads to chronic wounds, called venous ulcers, that either heal very slowly or not at all. 

Venous Leg Ulcers

Venous ulcer

Venous ulcers can be difficult to manage. They are open wounds that increase your risk of developing infections. They need to be kept clean and covered at all times. This means frequent dressing changes and trips to your doctor or a wound care specialist. Even when the ulcers do heal, they often recur, making them an ongoing source of pain and frustration. 

It’s best to seek help for your varicose veins before they get to this point. If you notice the skin on your legs looking swollen, irritated, thickened, blistered or cracked, these are early signs an ulcer may be forming, and you should make an appointment to have them evaluated. If you already have—or have had—venous ulcers, you should know that varicose vein treatment is the gold standard for getting rid of them for good.

Seek medical care to prevent and treat dangerous blood clots

Varicose veins put you at increased risk for developing a clot in your leg known as deep vein thrombosis, or DVT. Such clots pose a serious risk to your health because they can travel from your leg to your heart and lungs, causing a life-threatening condition called pulmonary embolism.

Signs that you have a DVT include sudden swelling in just one of your legs.The skin in the area may be tight, warm, red, and/or tender. You might also experience leg pain, soreness, and cramping. If you have these symptoms, seek medical attention right away.

Some patients, however, can have a DVT with no symptoms at all. If you have varicose veins, it’s a good idea to see a doctor for a venous ultrasound even when you otherwise feel fine. This painless, non-invasive procedure will look inside your veins to see if blood clots have formed, allowing your doctor to treat them before they pose any danger to your health.

Get help for any discomfort caused by your varicose veins

Varicose veins are known to cause pain, aching, itching, swelling, and heaviness in the legs. They can leave you feeling self-conscious and uncomfortable. They’ve even been linked to restless leg syndrome in some individuals. Unfortunately, we regularly see patients in our clinic who wait until after they’ve developed a more serious complication (like bleeding, an ulcer, or DVT) before coming in.

There’s no need to put up with pain and discomfort . If your varicose veins are reducing your quality of life in any way, that is reason enough to ask for help. Varicose veins can be addressed with a routine, relatively painless procedure that is covered by all major insurance providers. So the answer to “when should you seek medical treatment for varicose veins?” is “now.”

Living With Pain Is No Way To Live. Let’s Correct The Vein Issues In Your Life Today.

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