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What happens if varicose veins go untreated?
If you leave your varicose veins untreated, you may be faced with various consequences that differ on a person to person basis. Those who do not seek treatment for their varicose veins will continue to experience symptoms such as pain, leg cramps and swelling, itchiness, and fatigue.
Even more severe health complications include lipodermatosclerosis, blood clots, hyperpigmentation, venous leg ulcers, and deep vein thrombosis. To determine how severe your condition is and whether you require treatment, you should visit a vein specialist near you.
BLOOD POOLING & CLOTS
Blood pooling in a varicose vein can cause stagnant blood flow, leading to blood clotting in that vein that can travel to other parts of the body as well. In addition, this pooled blood has used up its oxygen and nutrients. Since veins cannot deal with high pressure well, they start allowing red blood cells and fluid to seep in leg tissue. This leakage results in painful swelling.
Hyperpigmentation is caused by the red blood cells in leg tissue that give rise to chronic inflammation. When varicose veins have gone enough time without being treated, they are able to further develop and produce dark, discolored skin in the affected area.
Lipodermatosclerosis is a condition involving inflamed fatty tissue under the skin that becomes woody and firm. It can be the cause of venous leg ulcers, which are painful and hard to heal. Some leg ulcers can heal on their own, but others cannot until venous flow is corrected through treatment.
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a serious medical condition in which a blood clot forms in a vein that is deep in the body. Symptoms include swelling, redness, warmth, and pain in your leg. Anticoagulation treatment is usually started as soon as a DVT diagnosis is made so that the clot can be broken up. This prevents it from traveling to the lungs, which is known as a “pulmonary embolus” and can have a fatal result.