As a vein specialist in New Orleans who has been practicing for many years, one thing that still amazes and dismays me is the number of people who deal with (or, in reality, fail to deal with) their vein problems with denial. For example, many people who have varicose veins react to them by pretending to the world that they don’t have them. They cover up the ugly, swollen veins with long pants or dark stockings and ignore them, effectively trying to pretend that they’re not there, or that at the very least they’re not a problem that requires treatment.
This pretense not only isn’t true, it’s dangerous. Varicose veins are the surface symptoms of a vein disease that can be very serious indeed, one that can lead to dangerous complications if you don’t seek treatment from a reputable New Orleans vein clinic.
What you should know about the likely complications of vein disease
First, you have to understand that the swollen and discolored veins you see in the mirror every morning before you hide them under long pants didn’t just appear there on their own. They are the result of a vein disease called chronic venous insufficiency or CVI, which impairs your circulation and allows blood to pool in your veins instead of being pumped back to your heart. This causes increased pressure on the affected veins (causing them to swell) and makes them turn bluish-purple and thus become visible beneath the surface of the skin.
Sadly, the consequences of varicose veins don’t stop with unattractiveness. When you fail to seek treatment for you varicose veins, they get worse, not better. One of the most common side effects is chronic swelling in the legs and ankles, which can become so painful that it is difficult to walk or stand.
Painfully swollen legs are only the start of varicose vein complications
As the disease progresses, the next side effect to appear will be changes in the color and texture of your skin, the result of poor circulation caused by CVI. The skin on your legs will begin to turn brown and leathery and become more prone to injury. Just scraping your legs on a chair or table can cause open sores that then refuse to heal, leaving your legs literally covered with bleeding wounds. And even this is not the worst of the complications, which is what your impaired circulation is doing to your overall health – untreated varicose veins greatly increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and obesity.
OK, I get it…vein disease is worse than I thought. What do I do now?
Whether you know you have varicose veins or you suspect you are at high risk of developing them because of your family history, the most important thing to do is to have a venous health screening to determine your current level of vein health. You can do this simply by picking up your phone and calling one of the best vein doctors in Louisiana to schedule an appointment. Give us a call today. You’ll be glad you did.