Itchy Legs And Your Veins
Itchy legs can be a minor discomfort, or they can become a real concern. If you experience itchy legs and notice any visible changes in veins in your legs, then it may be recommended we assess you at The Vein Clinic. Itchy legs can often be connected to a vein problem, and if left untreated this vein condition may cause other, more serious symptoms and health concerns down the track such as pigmentation, swelling and ulceration.
Causes of Itchy Legs
Itchy legs can be caused by other factors, but may be linked to venous reflux. Venous reflux occurs when the valves in your leg veins stop functioning properly. Instead of regulating the blood flow towards the heart, they now cause the blood to pool in your legs because they are “leaky”. This is what may cause heavy, tired or itchy legs.
If you also detect a change in the veins at the surface, on the skin of your legs, then this may be another indication of an underlying vein problem. Varicose or bulging veins will then be a visible sign of venous reflux, and in some cases the condition can cause other, more serious symptoms. These include swelling, spontaneous bleeding, blood clots (venous thrombosis), skin ulcerations and skin thickening or discolouration.
If you have itchy legs and think you may be suffering from venous reflux or varicose veins, contact The Vein Clinic Perth to book an appointment today.
Do Your Legs Look Like This?ASSESS YOUR LEGS
Our Approach to Treatment
Treatment of large malfunctioning veins (trunk)
Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLA) to great, small, and/or anterior accessory saphenous veins. 60 minutes
Treatment of large varicose veins (branches)
Phlebectomy removal of larger bulging varicose veins 90-120 minutescombined with
Ultrasound-Guided Foam Sclerotherapy (UGFS) on smaller veins. 30 minutes
Treatment of small varicose veins (branches) if required
Extra sessions of UGFS to close smaller veins if identified as required at post-treatment follow-up scan 30 minutes
You may not require this stage.
Optional treatment surface veins (leaves)
Usually done by Microsclerotherapy 30 minutes
Most patients require multiple treatment sessions to remove spider veins.
Follow up and maintenance to ensure best results
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I have varicose veins?
Most varicose vein issues are hereditary. If you have one parent with varicose veins your risk of having them is around 65%. If both parents are affected the risk rises to approximately 90%. Another main risk factor for women is pregnancy, with the risk increasing with each additional pregnancy. Standing occupations such as hairdressers, nurses, and chefs also have a high risk of varicose veins as gravity puts pressure on the veins and weakens them.
How do I prevent varicose veins?
Once varicose veins are present, they will not resolve of their own accord. Measures to reduce the rate of progression include maintaining a normal healthy weight and going for regular walks of 20-30 minutes per day. Reducing the length of time spent on the feet in a stationary position may help and alternating between standing and sitting positions during the day will also reduce the pressure on the veins.
What will happen if I don’t treat these veins?
Generally, without treatment, varicose veins will get progressively worse over time. Symptoms may occur such as heaviness, ache, pain, and tiredness in the legs towards the end of the day. Further progression may result in leg swelling, itch, skin discolouration, and eventual skin ulceration. Blood clots related to superficial venous thrombosis may also occur in severe cases and can lead to the more serious condition of Deep Vein Thrombosis.
What treatment options exist?
Outdated, old-fashioned options such as surgical stripping are rapidly becoming obsolete due to poor long-term success, with recurrence rates of up to 50%. Modern treatment options include endovenous laser ablation, sclerotherapy injections, and ultrasound-guided ambulatory phlebectomy. In many cases a combination of different treatments will give the best long-term results.
Will the veins come back after treatment?
Many people are concerned that the treatment will be of limited value because the veins will just come back. This was certainly the case in the days of surgical stripping with a 50% recurrence rate at 5 years; however, using the latest minimally invasive techniques, we can reduce the risk of recurrent varicose veins to the baseline risk of approximately 3% per year.
What is the downtime following treatment?
This depends on the type of procedure performed and the severity of the veins being treated. Modern treatment with laser can involve no time off work and approximately two weeks off heavy gym work and four weeks off international travel.
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