It is estimated that approximately half of the U.S. population suffers from some type of venous disease, with women making up about 55 percent of those affected. Of those afflicted with vein problems, 20 to 25 percent of women and 10 to 15 percent of men will have visible varicose veins. Varicose veins affect approximately one out of every two people age 50 and older, with many studies suggesting that those percentages increase significantly after age 70.
Varicose veins are common and, although often unsightly, they are generally not a serious health problem. In fact, many people can manage their varicose veins with home treatments, such as exercising, wearing compression stockings, and elevating the legs.
However, a few warning signs can indicate a more serious problem that warrant a doctor’s intervention. Below are six reasons you should see your doctor about your veins:
- Your vein becomes swollen, red, tender, or warm to the touch.
- One of the varicose veins begins to bleed.
- There are sores or a dark rash on the leg or near the ankles.
- The skin on your legs changes color and texture.
- Pain in the legs keeps you from your daily activities.
- The appearance of the veins is causing you distress.
Some of these warning signs may indicate serious problems, such as a blood clot in a deep vein, which can be serious and needs prompt attention. Others could be a sign of a clot or inflammation in a vein just under the skin, which is usually not dangerous but may still require treatment.
If you’re having pain, even if it’s just a dull ache, or are just generally worried about your varicose veins, don’t hesitate to get help.