CHRONIC VENOUS INSUFFICIENCY
Chronic venous insufficiency, also known as CVI, occurs from chronic pooling and congestion caused by leaky varicose veins, from obstruction in veins due to clots (thrombosis) or from inflammation of the veins (phlebitis). As CVI worsens, skin changes and leg ulcerations can occur. This condition is often treated with compression stockings and radiofrequency ablation.
LEG SKIN CHANGES
Skin changes associated with chronic venous insufficiency are called venous stasis dermatitis. Tissue can become damaged and the skin inflamed, eventually turning a reddish brown and becoming hard, thick, leathery and itchy. Treatments aim to relieve swelling and decrease pressure in the veins and may include prescription drugs, compression leggings and radiofrequency ablation.
When venous disease becomes severe, venous stasis ulcers can occur on the skin. These ulcers can be painful, and the treatment may be lengthy and frustrating. Treatment often involves radiofrequency ablation to help redirect the blood flow to functional veins and relieve venous congestion, improving the leg ulcer and reducing the likelihood of recurrence.
Similar to spider veins, reticular veins are slightly larger and often appear bluish. They may also be of only cosmetic concern or may contribute to other symptoms. Reticular veins can also be treated with sclerotherapy.
These clusters of small veins lie very close to the surface and may appear red, purple or blue. For some, they are only a cosmetic concern; for others, they may also cause pain. It is estimated that spider veins affect about 50 percent of adult females. They can be treated with injections from your doctor called sclerotherapy.
Varicose veins are typically blue and tend to bulge, occurring anywhere in the leg from your groin to your ankle. As they grow, they may become twisted or cord-like. Varicose veins can cause symptoms including leg swelling, aching, cramping, tired legs, heaviness, burning, throbbing or itching. Your doctor may begin treating you with compression stockings, but more problematic varicose veins may require radiofrequency ablation (RFA), vein ligation and stripping, or microplebectomy.