Medical Complications of Varicose Veins

Medical Complications of Varicose VeinsMany people think of varicose veins as a cosmetic issue, but the truth is that they have the possibility of leading to the development of serious health problems if left untreated. While varicose veins usually only cause a person to experience discomfort or swelling, there are a number of more dangerous complications that—while rare—can still occur. So it’s important to understand what to look out for if you do have varicose veins.

These serious medical complications include:

  • Ulcers. Painful ulcers may develop on the skin around varicose veins, specifically near the ankle. These are caused by fluid building up in these tissues over a long period of time, which increases blood pressure in the affected veins. Often, the skin will appear discolored in the area where an ulcer is about to form.
  • Infections. Fluid build-up in the legs may also cause fungal and bacterial infections that increase the risk of tissue infection.
  • Inflammation and blood clot. Veins deep within the legs can become enlarged or inflamed, in which case areas of that leg may swell up. This is one of the indicators of a blood clot (also called thrombophlebitis) forming.
  • Excessive bleeding. Varicose veins located near the surface of the skin may be susceptible to excessive bleeding if bumped or cut. If this occurs, you should lie down with your leg raised and apply pressure to the wound. Seek medical attention if the bleeding does not improve soon.

Having varicose veins does not mean that you will experience these health problems, but it does mean you are at an increased risk for their occurrence. Seeking medical treatment for varicose veins is an important step in preventing health issues from arising.

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