Most people just think of varicose veins as a cosmetic issue. While they may think they are unsightly, few people realize that untreated varicose veins can actually prove to be a serious medical problem. In fact, leaving varicose veins untreated can cause a multitude of health issues. Here is a closer look at all the dangerous things that can happen if varicose veins are left untreated.
Varicose veins that are not treated can start to cause blood to leak inside the leg tissues. This can be very painful for people who experience it. When the blood leaks in this manner, it is known as hyperpigmentation. It is called this due to the dark discoloration of the skin that occurs due to the blood leakage.
If the inflammation from varicose veins is left untreated, it can cause the leg tissues to become heavy and firm. This often makes patients feel like their legs are very tender and uncomfortable, which makes it hard for them to move.
Another issue associated with untreated varicose veins is spontaneous bleeding. Over time, varicose veins will eventually break down the skin tissue. When this happens, the varicose veins will move towards the surface of the skin. Once varicose veins are at the surface of the skin, even slight scratching can lead to large amounts of blood loss.
Venous Leg Ulcer
One of the worst things about varicose veins is that they often lead to other nasty things like venous leg ulcers. Over time, varicose veins can cause a condition called chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). In turn, untreated CVI can eventually lead to a venous leg ulcer, which is where the skin is destroyed to reveal the underlying tissue. This type of ulcer can be very painful and unsightly.
When the veins weaken, it causes inflammation in the surrounding tissue known as superficial thrombophlebitis. The symptoms include redness in the skin, pain, swelling and tenderness.
Deep Vein Thrombosis
The most dangerous condition associated with untreated varicose veins is deep vein thrombosis. When this condition occurs, it leads to a feeling in the legs like they are being pinched or pulled. This feeling is caused by blood clots in the veins. If a blood clot in a vein breaks free, it can rush to the lungs or brain and become life-threatening.
As you can see, the consequences of leaving varicose veins untreated can be severe. It is always best to see a specialist as soon as possible to prevent varicose veins from leading to more serious medical conditions.
If you are experiencing vein issues, contact AVLC today to schedule a consultation.