When to Treat Varicose Veins


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Many people develop varicose veins without requiring treatment; however, there are some developments, which necessitate medical advice and treatment. Treatment can be moderate or more radical depending on the severity of your varicose veins and the symptoms that they cause.

Aching, Pain, and Heaviness

If your varicose veins cause you aching, pain, or heaviness you should seek medical advice. Taking pain- killers may relieve the symptoms but do not treat the underlying cause. If your discomfort is mild, its treatment will probably be compression stockings or socks, which can relieve aching, pain, and heaviness without risk. If your doctor does not consider your discomfort to be severe enough for NHS treatment, compression socks can be brought from most pharmacies for a small cost.

Swelling, Redness, and Heat

If you experience any swelling of your limbs below your varicose veins, you should seek medical advice. This is likely to be treated with compression socks, which differentiates pressure up the legs improving the flow of blood from your feet to your heart. If you have swelling around your varicose veins as a result of inflammation you may be prescribed anti- inflammatory medication to relieve this.

Redness and heat in the area of your varicose veins is usually a sign of a blood clot in the varicose vein. This is not dangerous and should not be confused with deep vein thrombosis. However, a blood clot in your varicose veins can become painful. If severe pain, inflammation, heat, and redness develop, this can be a sign of infection and should be examined immediately. If the symptoms are caused by infection antibiotics will be prescribed to treat this. If the symptoms are caused by a blood clot, the first steps of treatment will involve compression socks, stockings, or bandages.

Varicose Eczema and Other Skin Conditions

If your varicose veins are causing skin conditions to develop, then you should see a doctor as this could cause irritation and infection. Varicose eczema will make the skin on and surrounding your varicose veins red, peeling, and irritated. This should be treated with emollients or corticosteroids and checked for bacterial infection. If the skin is infected it should be treated with antibiotics to prevent the infection from spreading further.

Other skin conditions can be seen through the darkening, discolouration, and tightening of the skin. These should be checked by a doctor who will be able to give a specific diagnosis and treat the condition.

Once your varicose skin conditions have cleared up the underlying varicose veins will require treatment to prevent future outbreaks. Compression stockings may be enough to manage your varicose skin condition although you may require more radical treatment such as the removal of your varicose veins.

Varicose Ulcers

If you develop varicose ulcers, you will require immediate treatment. Varicose ulcers can become infected causing you severe pain and discomfort. Treatment can be prolonged as varicose ulcers can last between six weeks and six months. If your ulcer does not begin to respond to treatment within a few months, you will need to see a specialist to determine why it is not healing.

Treatment for varicose ulcers includes cleansing and dressing the wound and treating the underlying varicose vein. Infected ulcers will require antibiotics and careful monitoring to ensure that blood poisoning and gangrene do not develop. Once treatment for your ulcer is completed the varicose veins will be treated either with compression stockings or removal via surgery, scelrotherapy, laser treatment, or radiofrequency ablation.


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