There’s no hiding it, vein diseases are unsightly and uncomfortable, and can be a massive hit to your confidence. People with vein disease are very aware of the adverse effects of their condition, and they spend lots of time researching different causes and remedies. For others who have been lucky enough not to suffer from a vein disease, the process can be a bit confusing. I get lots of questions about how vein diseases progress, and what each stage involves. Here’s a list of the 5 stages of vein disease.
Stage 1: Spider Veins
The first stage of vein disease is telengectasias, but is commonly referred to as “spider veins.” Over 40% of women and 18% of men suffer from spider veins at some point in their lifetime. Spider veins are a minor affliction, but can be very unsightly and tend to affect wardrobe choices. Spider veins can be itchy and painful, but don’t normally have any serious side effects.
Stage 2: Varicose Veins
After spider veins, the next step down the line of vein disease is varicose veins. Varicose veins are veins that are bulging and dilated. Blood flow backs up within these veins as the blood struggles to get back to the heart. The result is the veins on the surface of the skin become extremely enlarged and oftentimes painful. Around 80% of varicose veins patients say that this affliction interferes with their life and daily activities in some way or another.
Stage 3: Leg Edema
While leg edema is similar to varicose veins in many ways, there’s one important distinction. After a long enough period of back-flow in the venous system, the body slowly loses its ability to reabsorb fluids. In turn, this cause the entire legs to swell. While this can be combated by elevating the legs, most people don’t get the chance to do this until the end of the day, and therefore suffer from swollen legs nearly all day long.
Stage 4: Skin Changes
Over the course of time, if left untreated, varicose veins can cause the skin around them to thin out drastically. As the skin gets thinner, it starts to change colors, turning reddish brown or white. At this point, the skin can be injured very easily, and takes a long time to heal any injuries. Sometimes this can be confused with dermatitis, but it’s actually a much more serious condition.
Stage 5: Leg Ulcers
The most advanced form of superficial vein disease is leg ulcers. This occurs when venous congestion gets so bad that the blood can’t provide adequate nutrition to the skin. An injury to the skin in one of these areas will heal very slowly or not at all. In fact, roughly 20% of ulcers like this can stay unhealed for over two years!
If you are facing any of these painful and embarrassing stages of vein disease, I can help. Give me a call or visit my website. Together we can get your confidence back!