What does it mean when you can see the veins in your legs? Learn the answer below.
You might not see or think about your veins often, but they are essential in transporting blood from your legs to your heart. So when visible veins appear, you may wonder, “Is this normal?”
Visible veins emerge for various reasons. Our skin naturally becomes thinner as we age, which can make veins appear more prominent. However, visible veins on the legs can also indicate a vein disease. One study reports that about 23 percent of adults have varicose veins, with the prevalence increasing to 80 percent of men and 85 percent of women if we also factor in spider veins (telangiectasias). The good news is that you can make those visible veins less noticeable or eliminate them with treatment from a board-certified vein specialist.
What causes visible veins?
Tiny valves line the inside of your leg veins and move the blood up to the heart. Obesity and a sedentary lifestyle put excess pressure on the veins, which can weaken the valves. Gender and genetics can also increase one’s risk of developing vein disease.
When the valves weaken, blood collects within the vein walls. Eventually, the vein swells and distends, turning into a varicose vein or spider vein.
Spider veins and varicose veins may share the same risk factors and causes, but that’s where the similarities end. Spider veins are typically clusters of thin red, blue, and purple veins. The veins are less than 1 millimeter in diameter and flat. By contrast, varicose veins bulge and are usually 3 millimeters in diameter. Varicose veins often appear on the ankles and calves, while spider veins can also appear on the face.
Both spider and varicose veins may be asymptomatic. However, many people have reported feelings of heaviness, cramping, swelling, and pain in their legs, in addition to visible, protruding veins. Fortunately, conservative and surgical methods are available to treat the root problem: poor blood circulation.
How to make visible veins less visible
Whether you want to get rid of your varicose veins or spider veins because they’re causing you pain or you simply don’t like the unsightly appearance, you have several treatment options to explore. Let’s start with some lifestyle changes you can make to reduce the pain of vein disease:
Lose weight. Shedding excess pounds can lift pressure off your veins, allowing blood to flow more freely.
Exercise. Working out not only helps you lose weight, but it can also help your veins circulate blood. Walking and bike riding, in particular, work the calf muscles, pushing blood through the veins and lessening the chance of blood pooling. Combine exercise with a low-fat, low-salt diet for a successful weight-loss program.
Leg elevation. Your leg veins fight against gravity to pump blood to the heart. But you can counter that force by raising your legs above your heart for about 20 minutes daily to drain blood back to the heart.
Compression stockings. Compression stockings provide gentle pressure on the veins to keep blood moving. The stockings come in different styles and strengths. Ask your vein specialist for a recommendation.
Although these self-care methods won’t make visible veins disappear, they can make them less painful. If you’re looking for ways to make visible veins disappear, consult a vein specialist at Center for Vein Restoration (CVR) about these minimally invasive surgical techniques:
Sclerotherapy. Sclerotherapy is usually recommended for spider veins and smaller varicose veins. The doctor injects a saline solution into the vein to scar, which collapses it. The body eventually absorbs the treated vein as blood diverts to healthy veins.
Thermal ablation. Heat from either a laser or radiofrequency waves is used to destroy the diseased vein.
Ambulatory phlebectomy. The affected vein is removed through two tiny incisions. You’ll only need a Band-Aid afterward.
These are just three of CVR's most common and effective vein treatments. All procedures take only an hour and use minimal local anesthesia. You’ll be able to walk out shortly with smoother legs and resume your regular activities with few restrictions.
Get rid of those visible veins today!
Are you tired of seeing those unsightly visible veins on your legs? Center for Vein Restoration offers the most up-to-date treatments to eliminate those veins so you can proudly show your legs. Our board-certified physicians have years of experience successfully treating varicose veins and spider veins.
Contact your nearest CVR location today to schedule a consultation or speak to a representative. You may also schedule online at your convenience.