Over 30 million Americans suffer from vein disease.
The percentage that seeks treatment? Only 10%—translating to around 1.9 million. And this number is expected to grow in 2020.
Vein diseases are becoming increasingly common because of a combination of hereditary and hormonal factors, including obesity, prolonged standing, external injuries, and liver disease, among others.
While identifying vein diseases is mostly an easy task, because of their swollen and bulging appearance, many people struggle to differentiate between the different stages, thereby delaying treatment, which can lead to more serious health complications.
To make things easier, here are the five stages of vein disease that require immediate action from the individual:
1. Spider Veins
Spider veins are enlarged veins that are caused by high blood pressure in the legs. They are bluish-purple in color, and may form a bulge that is slightly visible from the surface of the skin.
As the first stage of vein injury, they may be hard to see, but can be detected by professionals nonetheless. If treated early, they can prevent serious health risks in the future.
2. Varicose Veins
The second stage of vein disease is the development of varicose veins. Large and visibly bulging, these veins commonly appear on the legs and feet. While the first stage is usually overlooked by most people because of its almost-natural appearance, varicose veins are easily distinguishable.
Variations in cases may cause some individuals to experience less swelling and pain, but in most cases, varicose veins lead to aches and heaviness in the legs. They may also lead to a burning or itchy sensation and cause the veins to look twisted and tangled.
These symptoms are the primary stage of the development of chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), which makes it essential for patients to seek treatment immediately.
3. Intense Swelling
If left untreated, the condition escalates to the third stage of vein disease, causing intense swelling.
As blood begins to pool in the veins, it causes inflammation and damaged blood circulation. While the inflammation can be temporarily eased by raising the legs, short-term relief is not a viable solution to the condition.
It is essential that individuals seek treatment at this stage, if they were unable to do so earlier, to prevent CVI.
As the fatty tissue beneath the skin becomes increasingly inflamed, there is visible discoloration, accompanied by persistent pain.
The skin turns brown and feels leather-like to touch. Over time, this escalates and becomes cracking and consequent bleeding, rendering the patient incapable of performing regular tasks.
Treatment becomes necessary at this stage, because the patient begins to experience intolerable levels of pain that cannot be corrected by home remedies. The longer the condition is left treated, the more visible the discoloration becomes.
5. Visible Injury
As the fourth stage escalates, it results in visible injuries in the form of an ulcer. The skin develops sores that persistently reopen instead of healing on their own.
At this point, skin tissue begins to disintegrate, further worsening the condition and putting the patient at great risk. At this stage, the patient begins to experience leaking veins and tightness around the ankles.
The best way to prevent vein disease from reaching fatal stages is by consulting professionals when doubt starts creeping in.
If you’re witnessing oddly enlarged and discolored veins on your legs, book an appointment with a trained varicose vein treatment specialist. Our certified team of NYC-based specialists can help you detect spider veins and offers a minimally invasive treatment plan to ensure you’re up and running in no time.
Not only will you prevent your condition from worsening, but you’ll also prevent future risks that remain when the condition is treated at a later stage.