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Vein Conditions: Symptoms


With the variety of vein issues that can occur, it is a good idea to become familiar with the symptoms of these conditions. On this page we’ve included descriptions of spider vein, varicose vein, and venous reflux problems, along with details on other issues you may be facing. Dr. Soffer wants to provide you with some basic information for your education, but the best approach is to come in for an in-person examination if you believe you have issues with your veins. By examining areas of your body where veins are causing problems, the doctor can then go over potential treatment options with you. We invite you to read the following information, then please call us at any of our vein treatment locations listed here.

Spider Veins

Spider veins are tiny, thin veins that can be seen very close to the skin’s surface caused by pooling blood. These are small red, purple and/or blue tiny veins found on the surface of the skin. They often are found in combination with slightly larger reticular veins, which tend to be green or blue in color. Spider veins are thought to be the result a miniature version of the same process as varicose veins and may or may not be associated with significant venous insufficiency. If there is significant venous insufficiency present with spider veins, any treatment for the spider or reticular veins is unlikely to provide lasting results. Therefore an experienced practitioner should carefully examine a patient’s legs before attempting treatment. Spider veins, without corresponding venous insufficiency, are simply cosmetic issues and are treated with sclerotherapy.

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Varicose Veins

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Varicose veins are enlarged veins that often appear ropey and look blue or red. However, they also often occur deeper under your skin where you are not able to see them. Varicose veins are caused by unhealthy valves inside the veins. When these valves fail or leak, they can no longer pump blood to the heart. Gravity causes the blood to gather in the veins and makes them look enlarged, twisted or full and bulging. Aside from their unpleasant appearance, other side effects of varicose veins include pain, fatigue, itching, burning, swelling, cramping, restlessness and throbbing, which will worsen over time if left untreated and can lead to serious circulatory problems.

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Venous Reflux

Venous Reflux Disease, also known as venous insufficiency, affects the circulation of your blood. The main role of your veins is to return blood to the heart, but if the valves fail, they will give way to the forces of gravity and not return blood to the heart. This backward flow is called reflux. This blood can become acidic from metabolic waste, causing an intense inflammatory reaction resulting in symptoms such as pain and swelling. Venous reflux disease can lead to varicose veins and spider veins to thick bulging veins. Typically, varicose veins are an indicator to venous reflux, which can cause serious circulatory problems if not treated properly.

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Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless Leg Syndrome, or RLS, causes a person to always feel the urge to move his or her legs. RLS can make it uncomfortable to do normal activities, such as sleeping through the night or traveling long distances in the car or on a plane. While there are other causes of RLS, it is a common complaint by people who have vein disease. Legs often tend to feel achy, cramped, tired or restless because of broken vein valves.

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Leg Ulcers

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Leg ulcers are open sores caused by malfunctioning leg valves, and can take place in the leg or ankle. When leg valves do not function as they should, pressure in the veins increases and causes open red sores. Venous leg ulcers result from the failure of these sores to heal and can be extremely painful. At Soffer Vein and Vascular, we effectively treat venous leg ulcers with a combination of wound care coupled with treatment of the underlying venous problem. However, the observed symptom is often indicative of a more serious underlying problem. For example, spider veins at the base of a leg may actually be caused by larger veins higher in the leg that cannot be seen. For this reason, we utilize ultrasound in our diagnosis so that we can accurately diagnose your condition and prescribe a treatment that will provide long-term results. Come in for an evaluation and we will help you diagnose and treat your vein disease.

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