Vein problems are quite common among American adults. Approximately 23% of Americans have varicose veins — almost 22 million women and 11 million men between 40 to 80 years.1 Among these, 2 million adults develop complications like chronic venous insufficiency and venous ulceration.2
For many, vein problems go unnoticed. Some people may notice the symptoms but avoid treatment. However, in rare cases, damaged veins can cause complications if left untreated.
If you wonder when to see a vein specialist, you should act when you notice any signs of venous problems. It’s wise to consult a vein specialist and seek treatment before it gets worse.
What Does a Vein Specialist Do?
Vein specialists are trained healthcare professionals who can recognize symptoms of vein problems. They check your symptoms, medical history, and family history to evaluate your condition. They help diagnose your condition through screenings and tests and work out the cause of your vein problem.
They can also offer various treatments to relieve your symptoms. These can include simple lifestyle changes such as elevating your legs, exercising, or taking steps to reduce blood pressure. A specialist may ask you to wear gradient compression stockings to relieve pain, discomfort, or swelling in your legs due to vein problems.
Your vein specialist may suggest minimally-invasive vein removal procedures like phlebectomy. They may also offer minimally-invasive procedures like endovenous laser ablation or sclerotherapy to treat vein problems like varicose and spider veins, respectively.
What Does a Vascular Specialist Treat?
Vein specialists or vascular specialists are qualified to treat venous problems that include:
- Varicose veins
- Spider veins
- Superficial blood clots in veins
- Venous leg ulcers
- Chronic venous insufficiency, when leg veins don’t function properly
- Phlebitis, or swelling in veins
When to See a Vein Specialist
Vein problems can be hereditary. If your relatives have vein problems, there’s a high chance you may develop them, too.3 Consult a vein specialist to check your risk of developing vein problems and how you can prevent them.
If you experience the following symptoms, it’s time to see a vein specialist.
1. Pain or swelling in only one leg
Typically, pain and swelling in the leg are symptoms of muscle or joint injuries. But they could also a sign of vein problems. If you have pain or swelling in only one leg and not the other, it indicates poor blood circulation in that leg. You should visit a vein specialist to get it checked.
2. Twisted, bulging, and discolored veins under your skin
If you notice twisted, bulging veins under the skin of your legs that are red, blue, or purple, you may have varicose veins. If veins appear tiny, branching, or spider-web-like, you have spider veins.
People often think of varicose veins or spider veins as cosmetic issues, but they can be painful or uncomfortable. They can also lead to complications like blood clots or leg ulcers. If you notice bulging or discolored veins, visit a vein specialist to check your condition.
3. Tiredness, weakness, or heaviness in your legs
If you have vein problems, standing for long periods can make your legs feel tired, weak, or heavy. It may seem ordinary, but these are signs of vein problems like varicose veins. If you notice these symptoms often, consult a vascular specialist to check for clots or other vein problems in your legs.
Raising your legs can help relieve the discomfort. However, if you feel pain, visit your vein specialist for a check-up.
4. Continuous leg pain that affects daily activities
Factors like pulled muscles, injuries, or sprains can cause leg pain. But persistent leg pain that affects your daily activities may signify damaged veins. Varicose veins often cause aching or throbbing in your legs.
Book an appointment with your vein specialist if you have persistent leg pain. They’ll check if you have damaged veins and find the root cause of your pain. They may recommend wearing gradient compression stockings to prevent leg pain or swelling. They may also suggest a suitable treatment to heal your damaged vein.
5. Vein problems during pregnancy
Pregnancy leads to an increase in abdominal pressure. This can increase pressure on your leg veins and affect blood circulation. Also, the changes in hormones during pregnancy can affect vein health. If you have pain or discomfort in your legs during pregnancy, you may have vein problems like varicose or spider veins. These symptoms often go away after childbirth.
However, vein problems during a previous pregnancy can worsen during your next pregnancy.4 Before you become pregnant again, consult your vein doctor in advance to prevent further vein damage and painful symptoms.
6. Sores or ulcers on your legs
Leg sores and ulcers are common symptoms of diabetes. They can also be a sign of vein trouble. These symptoms can be complications of underlying vein problems like varicose veins. A vein specialist can help determine the cause of leg ulcers and sores and treat them.
7. Dryness or itchiness on your legs, ankles, or feet
Poor blood circulation in the legs can lead to dry and itchy skin on your legs, ankles, or feet. Dryness and itchiness can worsen into leg discoloration, rashes, sores, or ulcers.
Use a moisturizer or emollient to treat dryness and itchiness. If it persists, consult a vein specialist to see if they are symptoms of vein problems.
8. Tenderness in your leg
If you notice a tender lump in your leg, it may be caused by a superficial blood clot in your veins. It is better to consult your vein doctor and get it checked. The doctor will help you find the right treatment for your vein issues.
Tips to Find a Vein Specialist Near You
If you suspect vein problems, you’ll need to get professional help. If you’re looking for a vein specialist, here’s what you can do:
- Check for doctors in your medical insurance network
- Search for online reviews of potential vein doctors and book an initial consultation
- Use My Vein Treatment’s vein specialist locator tool
My Vein Treatment’s vein specialist locator map can help you find a vein expert near you. Schedule an appointment with them to get rid of your vein problems.
- Circulation: “Varicose Veins.”
- JAMA: “Management of varicose veins and venous insufficiency.”
- Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics: “A Review of Familial, Genetic, and Congenital Aspects of Primary Varicose Vein Disease.”
- Babycenter: “Varicose veins during pregnancy.”