Having healthy veins is actually very important to one’s overall health and well-being. Actually, an entire medical specialty was developed to monitor and treat ailments and conditions relating to the veins — phlebology. In fact, this medical area has evolved into its own specialty complete with its on certifying board — The American Board of Phlebology.
Interestingly, the main treatment for a common vein issue — varicose veins — was a painful process called stripping that involved many incisions and stitches, often leaving an unsightly scar. Additionally, treating spider veins was mainly done through Sclerotherapy, which often resulted in brownish discoloration, pain, and even ulcers of the skin. Currently, with the developments that have occurred over the past few years, there are now state of the art treatments such as vein closure through radio frequency or laser, and an advanced Sclerotherapy method using a foam or glycerin solution.
While the usual vein symptoms include visual veins, cramping, aching, burning, or swelling there are several unusual vein symptoms that should receive proper medical treatment.
Brownish discoloration of the legs – This symptom can occur over time; however, it is generally caused by a vein valve problem. This condition is called reflux where the blood is going in the reverse direction. Instead of going up from the feet, it reverses direction. This can lead to a condition called venous hypertension or high blood pressure in the veins. This condition can lead to blood leakage from the veins that can cause a discoloration of the skin. The discoloration will become brown and can lead to thick, weakened skin which is then prone to cellulitis, itching, ulcers, infection, and in some cases lymphedema.
Leg swelling — While generally varicose veins do not cause the veins to swell, some advanced cases can lead to overall swelling of the legs. Often, patients will experience heaviness and an increase in the size of the legs.
Restless leg syndrome — You may have seen TV ads for medications to prevent restless leg syndrome; however, before you consider taking a medication with possible side effects we recommend getting your veins checked with an ultrasound for venous insufficiency. Restless leg syndrome can be caused by venous insufficiency, and correction of the vein issues can correct the these symptoms making it unnecessary to take possibly lifelong medication.
Ulceration around the ankle — Ulcerations can appear most commonly on the inside of the ankle. These ulcerations are caused by the backup of venous blood and venous hypertension that can cause the skin to weaken. When the skin weakens, it can break down causing skin ulcers that are difficult to heal and can often become infected.
These unusual symptoms of venous insufficiency are not usually recognized by the average person. They can be diagnosed by venous professionals generally using ultrasound. Dr. Thomas Wright and his staff at Laser Lipo and Vein Center are experienced and trained professionals in vein diagnosis and therapies. If you are concerned about these or other potential vein problems, contact them for a consultation.