Six Months Special Financing

Are Varicose Veins Dangerous For My Health?

Is Varicose Vein Dangerous to My Health?

Varicose Vein Dangerous to My Health – Let’s overview what a varicose vein is and how it gets into your body. Valves in the leg veins, which work with the calf muscles, generally pump blood from the legs back to the heart. However, if one valve leaks or malfunctions, blood may accumulate in the vein rather than return to the heart.

This accumulation of blood drives the vein to bulge and enlarge, creating what we are talking about, a varicose vein.

Is Varicose Vein Dangerous to My Health? Should I Be Concerned?

Most of the time, a varicose vein is not a cause for concern. Dangerous complications may occur, but they are rare.

A varicose vein is relatively common, affecting about twenty-three percent of adults in the United States.

This dark vein tends to bulge under the skin, making it easy to detect. It is most prone to develop on the lower legs but can also appear elsewhere.

We will closely examine the varicose vein, its possible complications, and signs when you should visit a physician or vein expert.

What Exactly is a Varicose Vein

A varicose vein is a swollen and twisted vein that makes it bulge. If you run your fingers over it, you can feel the bulge. The varicose vein is usually purplish blue or red.

The varicose vein can appear anywhere. However, you may be shocked to learn that a hemorrhoid is a type of varicose vein.

While it can develop anywhere, you often find a varicose vein in the legs. That is because leg veins must work against gravity when circulating blood.

But what exactly provokes a vein to swell?

Increased blood pressure in the vein may cause a varicose vein. In addition, you can get varicose veins if you have weak or impaired valves within the blood vessels.

The valves within your veins function by ensuring that blood flows in one direction and does not back up. When these valves become weak, it may cause blood to accumulate in the vein rather than move forward. This situation can cause the vein to stretch and kink.

Anyone may develop a varicose vein. However, it is more frequent in women, possibly due to hormonal changes. It is also more prevalent in older adults due to the effect of aging on the veins.

Other influences that may raise your risk of developing varicose veins include:

  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • A family history of varicose vein
  • Prolonged standing or sitting
  • smoking

About Spider Veins

You have probably also heard of spider veins belonging to the same group as varicose veins.

Spider veins are smaller groups of twisted veins, usually red or blue. You can see spider veins under the skin, but they do not protrude.

A spider vein is painless and tends to appear on the face or legs. While you may not like its appearance, a spider vein is not physically harmful.

Does a Varicose Vein Represent a Health Risk?

Most individuals do not develop serious problems from a varicose vein. Complications are rare but may include the following:

  • Minor bleeding near the skin
  • Blood clots (thrombophlebitis)
  • Ulcers on the skin near the varicose vein

Research also suggests that individuals with varicose veins have an elevated risk of :

  • Pulmonary Embolism

A pulmonary embolism arises when a blood clot ruptures and moves to the lungs, which may be life-threatening.

  • Deep Vein Thrombosis

DVT (deep vein thrombosis) is when a blood clot grows in a deep vein, typically in the thigh or lower leg.

To determine if the connection between these conditions is due to a standard set of risk factors, investigators need more studies and research.

Cholesterol Problems

You cannot entirely avoid varicose veins, but there are actions you can take to make them less probable to appear.

If you already have small varicose veins, the following steps can also keep the veins from worsening.

  • Do some physical activity daily, as it can help improve circulation and keep blood from pooling in your veins.
  • Control your weight; carrying extra weight puts extra pressure on veins.
  • Cut back on salt. Too much salt may raise blood pressure and cause fluid retention.
  • Avoid tight clothing and high heels because they restrict blood flow and make it easier for blood to accumulate in weaker veins.
  • Elevate your legs above the level of your heart. Done several times a day, it can help reduce fluid retention and blood pooling in the legs.
  • Avoid standing or sitting down for prolonged periods. Set the alarm as a reminder to move for a few minutes every hour. Also, try elevating your legs.
  • Avoid smoking. Nicotine can cause blood vessels to constrict, which inhibits blood flow. Smoking also debilitates blood vessel walls, elevates blood pressure, and increases the chances of blood clots.

Individuals generally need treatment to remove damaged veins, treat complications, or correct a problem triggering the varicose veins. The length of your varicose veins influences and determines your treatment options.

Vein experts usually use ligation, stripping, laser, or radiofrequency treatment for more prominent varicose veins. However, in some cases, a combination of treatments may work best.

On the other hand, vein experts usually treat smaller varicose and spider veins with sclerotherapy or laser therapy to the skin.

Nevertheless, some people may want to improve the appearance of their legs, even if their varicose veins do not cause them other issues. In these situations, treatment can be a good option if no other health problems make these treatments risky.

Your physician should look at your legs and bare feet to diagnose varicose veins and determine which treatment would suit your situation. So, depending on your physician’s evaluation, you can decide on the best varicose vein treatment.

We are Modern Heart and Vascular Institute, a diagnostic and preventative medicine cardiology practice. For more information, contact us.

Every heart has a story… What’s yours?

Modern Heart and Vascular logo


Modern Heart and Vascular, a preventive cardiology medical practice, has several offices around Houston. We have locations in Humble, Cleveland, The Woodlands, Katy, and Livingston.

We are Modern Heart and Vascular Institute, a diagnostic and preventative medicine cardiology practice.

Every heart has a story… What’s yours?

Book an Appointment Today

At the Modern Heart and Vascular Institute, we offer state-of-the-art cardiovascular care with innovative diagnostic tools and compassionate patient care. Our priority at Modern Heart and Vascular Institute is prevention. We help patients lead healthier lives by avoiding unnecessary procedures and surgeries.

Contact us online to learn more and book an appointment. If you’d like to learn more about our practice, read our providers’ bios.

This article does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you need cardiovascular care, please call us at 832-644-8930.

Request an

Every heart has a story…What’s yours?
Choose your appointment at one of our 7 locations