Broken vein treatment
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About Broken veins
Broken veins are damaged, twisted blood vessels that may occur anywhere on the body, but most commonly appear on the legs. Weakened valves in the legs make it difficult for veins to carry blood from the lower body back to the heart. Blood begins to pool in the vein, causing it to bulge. Broken veins are commonly delineated into two types: spider veins and varicose veins.
Spider veins are small, damaged blood vessels that commonly appear on the surface of the legs or the face. These broken blood vessels are usually blue, purple, or red in appearance. Spider veins are smaller than varicose veins in appearance and only raise slightly from the skin.
Varicose veins are generally painless but are larger and more pronounced than spider veins.
Both of these conditions are common. Risk factors for broken veins include:
- Genetics: Broken veins usually run in families.
- Age: Valves in blood vessels weaken as you get older. Weakened valves can result in a lack of blood flow from the legs back to the heart, causing varicose or spider veins.
- Sex: Women generally are affected by varicose and spider veins more than men due to hormone changes.
- Weight: Being overweight can put extra pressure on veins in the lower body, weakening valves in the blood vessels.
- Pregnancy: Hormone changes during pregnancy, and the extra pressure put on the legs through added weight can affect blood flow from the lower body. In many cases, broken veins go away after pregnancy.
- Prolonged sitting: Veins have to work extra hard to push blood back to the heart when you sit down for a long period of time. Because of this, you may begin to notice broken veins appearing in the legs if you spend too much time sitting.
Most individuals seek treatment for broken veins based on their appearance. However, swollen blood vessels can lead to complications if they burst or cause pain in the legs. If broken veins begin to feel tender, itch, or if you experience swelling in the legs or feet, contact your health care provider right away. If left untreated, broken veins can result in blood clots, skin ulcers, and bursting blood vessels.
Below are common treatment options for broken veins. During your appointment, talk to your health care provider about the treatment plan that’s right for you.