Blood is able to flow throughout the body thanks to an extensive system of blood vessels that includes arteries, veins, and capillaries. If laid out end to end, these components would extend for over 60,000 miles. Veins take oxygen-depleted blood back to the heart, where it can be pumped to the lungs and enriched with oxygen. It’s typically not given a thought, but the way that a vein looks is important; a twisted, enlarged appearance indicates a varicose vein.

What Are Some Symptoms of Varicose Veins?

One sign of varicose veins Catonsville MD is their color; this type of vein has a blue or dark purple color. They also often have a cord-like appearance on the legs and look bulging or twisted. Pain does not always occur, but if it does, it usually worsens after one has been standing or sitting for a lengthy period of time. A throbbing or burning sensation may be present, and there can be swelling, muscle cramping, or a heavy or achy feeling in the legs. In addition, people might experience itching and notice skin discoloration around the veins.

Are Varicose Veins the Same as Spider Veins?

Although they share similarities, differences do exist. In addition to their smaller size, spider veins are located nearer to the surface of the skin. They can be found on the legs, but spider veins also occur on the face. The size is variable, and they often have the appearance of a spider’s web.

What Risk Factors Exist?

Because extra pressure is put on the veins if someone is overweight, obesity represents a risk factor. As well, pregnancy can enlarge the veins in the legs due to the increase in blood volume that occurs to support a growing fetus. Having a family history of the condition, being a woman, and being older can put a person at increased risk. Finally, sitting or standing in the same position for an extended period of time compromises the blood’s ability to flow. While some factors are beyond a person’s control, others can be manipulated to decrease the risk of varicose veins.