Chronic venous insufficiency occurs when your veins have trouble getting your blood back to the heart. While this can occur almost anywhere, it most frequently happens on your legs where blood is constantly fighting against gravity. Over time, with disease or due to genetics or an unhealthy lifestyle, these vein valves may break down or weaken. Thus, blood may begin to pool in veins, especially in those that are closest to the surface of the skin. When this occurs, your chronic venous insufficiency will be easy to see on your legs in the form of spider veins or varicose veins.
Spider veins are the smallest form of chronic venous insufficiency and are so called because of the circular patterns they form on the skin that look much like a spider’s web. They usually cause only cosmetic concerns and may embarrass you to the extent that you cannot wear shorts or swimsuits any longer. However, varicose veins are more concerning because they cause both cosmetic and physical problems. You may experience discomfort with them and may see your feet and ankles swell and your skin becomes itchy and broken. These veins often bulge from your skin in an unattractive way.
There are several ways that chronic venous insufficiency can be treated and the option chosen will depend on the extent of the problem, your own desires, and the choice of the practitioner. We typically start with lifestyle changes for small cosmetic issues, such as tiny spider veins that are just beginning to form. Our practitioner may suggest that you institute a new exercise program to increase activity. Walking is an excellent option for healthy veins.
However, lifestyle changes are often not enough for larger or more visible veins. The gold standard of treatment is always sclerotherapy, but we offer other treatments as well that can be used to eliminate the veins without the need for surgery.
The best way to know which option is right for you is to come in for a consultation with one of our experienced providers at The Vein Center in Mt. Pleasant, SC. Contact us today to book an appointment and learn more!