Mommy Medicine: When to be concerned about varicose veins

Mommy Medicine: When to be concerned about varicose veins

Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

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SALT LAKE CITY — Many adults, both men and women, suffer from painful varicose veins. While there are plenty of doctors advertising treatments to fix the problem, it can be tough to know when those procedures are needed.


When should I see a doctor about my varicose veins?


Varicose veins are twisted, enlarged veins near the surface of the skin that have a blue appearance. They are caused by a weakening of the vein walls due of poor health practices, circulatory problems or heredity.

In the United States alone, about 19% of men and 36% of women have varicose veins.

The condition is most common in the legs and ankles but can be found in the esophagus and rectal area as well. Varicose Veins usually arnn’t serious if found in the legs, but they can sometimes lead to other problems.

Some people do not have any symptoms in connection with their varicose veins. Mild symptoms are usually heaviness, burning, aching or pain in the legs. If you stand or sit for long periods of time, the pain increases.

The following home treatments can be helpful to ease the symptoms and pain of varicose veins:

  • Wear compression stockings. These can be found in any medical supply store. I would recommend contacting your doctor for prescription compression stockings if you are on your feet a lot — if you work as a cosmetologist, nurse or cashier, for example. Using compression stockings when you are on your feet a lot can also delay or prevent future varicose veins.
  • Prop up your legs. Keeping your feet and legs elevated whenever possible helps reduce the constant fluid pressure on your lower legs.
  • Avoid long periods of sitting or standing and limit crossing your legs at the knees.
  • Get plenty of exercise.

Ask Nurse Suzy

More severe cases of varicose veins can can lead to serious problems if not treated. If your varicose veins are accompanied by the following symptoms for more than four days a week, you need to see a vascular surgeon for treatment.

  • Leg swelling
  • Swelling and calf pain after you sit or stand for long periods of time
  • Skin changes, such as:
    • Color changes
    • Dry, thinned skin
    • Inflammation
    • Scaling
  • Open sores or bleeding after a minor injury

If your doctor thinks professional treatment is needed, he or she will use one of the following procedures:

These options should only be performed by a medical physician with vascular surgery credentials. Not all physicians have this training. Because these are highly technical procedures you will want the best doctor you can find.

For more detailed information, you will want to visit

About the Author: Suzanne Carlile ---------------------------------

Suzanne Carlile, "Nurse Suzy," has been a nurse since 1982. Her main focus is critical care and nursing education. She holds a master's degree in nursing, is a Certified Emergency Nurse, and a member of NNSDO Intermountain West Chapter.

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