Have you noticed an increase in discomfort due to varicose veins? It’s a complaint that we hear more commonly at Paul S. DeMarco, DPM at this time of the year. Extra hours on your feet—walking the mall, baking cookies, attending holiday parties—means increased pressure on your legs and any varicose veins in them. Varicose veins form due to weak valves in the veins. Blood that needs to get pumped back to your heart from your feet and legs has to work extra hard, fighting gravity. If a valve is already weakened, some of the blood may leak out and pool in a vein causing it to become swollen and enlarged. Symptoms of varicose veins can include: pain in your legs (particularly if you’ve been in one position, either standing or sitting, for a long time), swelling in your legs, feet or ankles and an achy, heavy feeling in your lower legs. You may also notice that the skin around the varicose veins is dry, itchy and inflamed.
Who’s at Risk?
Both men and women can develop varicose veins but it happens more often in women. This is due to hormonal changes that happen during pregnancy and menopause. Other factors that increase the likelihood of varicose veins are being overweight and having a job that requires you to be on your feet most of the day.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Although many patients have varicose veins for years and do not experience discomfort it’s a good idea to get them checked by our podiatrist, Dr. Paul S. DeMarco. Sometimes varicose veins are an indicator of a circulation problem that can have serious consequences. The foot doctor may prescribe one or more of the following treatments for varicose veins:
· Compression stockings
· Minimizing the amount of time on your feet or taking breaks and elevating your feet during long periods of standing
· Exercising regularly to aid in proper blood flow
· Weight loss if necessary
· Sclerotherapy to collapse a bad vein and cause the blood to be re-routed through a healthy vein
If you have varicose veins contact our Somers Point office for an appointment by calling: (609) 927-4894 today.