Understanding Superficial Venous Reflux and Venous Disease
Your legs are made up of a network of veins. Healthy leg veins contain valves that open and close to assist the return of blood back to the heart. Venous reflux disease develops when the valves that keep blood flowing out of the legs and back to the heart become damaged or diseased. This can cause blood to pool in your legs and lead to symptoms such as pain, swelling, swollen limbs, leg heaviness and fatigue, skin changes and skin ulcers, and varicose veins.
Venous Reflux Disease Symptoms
Spider veins, medically known as telangiectases are dilated capillary veins less than 2mm in diameter. They are small blue to red appearing blood vessels that lie close to the surface of the skin and occur either in lines or web-like patterns. They are usually visible on the legs but sometimes are visible around the nose and lips and are commonly referred to as “broken veins.” While they can ache, burn or itch now and then, but they are usually not symptomatic. Spider veins are not harmful and are simply unsightly.
Varicose veins are ropy appearing blue vessels under the skin, usually ¼ inch or larger in diameter. They are most often branches from the saphenous trunk veins, and have enlarged due to the excess pressure in the saphenous system.Varicose veins are unsightly and often painful. A clotted varicose vein causes the classic phlebitis, hot and red and painful skin at the site of the clot. Beside the visible symptoms, physical symptoms are tiredness, restless legs at night, heaviness in the leg, pain, aching, itching, throbbing and swelling, burning or a cramping sensation.
Click below to view a 30 second video-clip about venous reflux