Those tiny spider veins on your legs are the very first signs that your circulation may be at risk. You can ignore them, but don’t think they will go away on their own. The hard truth is they will only get worse. That’s exactly why knowing the stages of vein disease & when to take action is essential.
Chronic Venous Insufficiency
Vein disease is known as chronic venous insufficiency, or CVI. It is a progressive disease, which means it won’t get better on its own. In fact, it will only get worse if not treated. The veins which are visible on the surface of the legs are the symptoms of this underlying vein disease, and it has very predictable stages.
It occurs when the tiny one-way valves in our veins malfunction. Instead of the valves closing after allowing blood to flow to the heart, they don’t close properly and some blood flows backwards. That is what causes the swelling and bluish veins to appear.
Spider veins appearing on legs is a sign of stage one CVI. These small reddish purple veins can be found on the legs, ankles, face and other areas. They are not all necessarily related to varicose veins, but are caused by CVI. Spider veins are more common in women.
With this stage, visible and bulging veins begin to appear. If you run your hand over your leg without looking, you will be able to feel them. This is accompanied by itching, burning and numbness. You may also have tired and achy legs.
This is the time to contact Advanced Vascular Associates before the disease progresses any further.
Swelling of the legs and ankles is the hallmark of this stage. Elevating your legs may help with the symptoms, but treatment is needed to stop the progression.
Without any treatment, by stage four you can expect changes in your skin color and texture. Areas of your legs can look reddish-brown or white. In addition, your skin can be brittle and vulnerable to injury.
Once the disease reaches stage five, you will notice that scratches or injury to the brittle skin may heal the ulcers but will leave scars.
In this final stage, any injury to your skin and leg ulcers will not heal, and you can be left with multiple bleeding ulcers. Chronic leg ulcers that remain open can induce bacteria and lead to infections.
Naturally, being treated early for this vein disease will eliminate some of the worst symptoms and later stages of the disease.