Are Varicose Veins Dangerous? | The Risks of Leaving Them Untreated

November 15, 2022
5 min read

Have you ever tried to notice the color of your veins? Whether on your arms or legs, you’ll find the most common vein color to be blue or green. However, it’s not just limited to that. Occasionally people spot purple veins running down their legs, but that isn’t quite as cool as it sounds. Purple veins signify the swelling in your blood vessels, which is a direct symptom of varicose veins. But what exactly are varicose veins? Are they dangerous? Should you be worried? — Rather than letting your mind flood with questions, keep reading this blog to get all the answers you want.

What Are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are the veins in your leg that have stretched out and loosened over time. This essentially causes the blood vessels to swell, leaving behind a distorted bulge under the surface of your skin. You can typically feel the rough bumps when running your fingers over them. However, that’s not something to be worried about. Even though varicose veins mess up the look of your leg and look unappealing, they’re not extremely harmful in any way. Although their growth does have a specific pattern to it.

What Causes Varicose Veins?

The primary cause of varicose veins is increased blood flow to the vessels. That is to say, people who have weak valves and thin vein walls are prone to developing this condition. When there is an influx of blood pressure to the veins, it causes them to stretch out from the sheer force. Once they lose their shape, the blood flow starts to mess up, flowing backward instead of the way it is supposed to. This is why the veins end up swelling and looking disfigured.

Are Varicose Veins Dangerous?

Thankfully enough, varicose veins are not dangerous. If anything, they’re only a cosmetic issue, which means they’re not damaging to your vascular health. However, that is only in the case they do not hurt. If your varicose veins are painful or cause problems in your day-to-day life, you may need to get them checked out. More often than not, varicose veins can lead to frequent bleeding and other injuries due to weakened vein walls. So, even though they’re not dangerous, they still have downsides.

What Happens When Varicose Veins Are Left Untreated?

Despite being harmless, if you leave varicose veins as they are without taking the necessary precautions, it could lead to the following outcomes:Swelling — Besides the veins, swelling in your legs and feet might increase, making them balloon up.Skin Ulcers — As a result of excessive swelling, the skin on your leg will change color, texture, and appearance, leading to skin ulcers.Bleeding — Since varicose veins contain extra blood within their stretched-out walls, bleeding and bruising are to be expected. The slightest hit or cut can have you losing an ample amount of blood.Thrombophlebitis — This is a condition where your skin turns red and tender due to decreased blood flow in the inflamed veins. Lipodermatosclerosis — When your leg tissues start to harden and stiffen, it leads to Lipodermatosclerosis. It can make moving your legs and resting extremely challenging.

Closing Word

To summarize, varicose veins are not dangerous, but they can be worrisome. Rather than letting them be, consult a professional on what your next step should be. If you want to get medical treatment for varicose veins, feel free to contact NorthWest Cardiovascular Clinic at (281) 807-5253 for an in-depth evaluation. You can also find our clinic in Houston at 18220 TX-249 Suite #230, Houston, TX 77070, located opposite Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital.

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