From Shopper-News, March 28, 2011.

Premier Vein Clinics patient Laura Parham, like more than 50 percent of women, suffered from varicose veins.

Varicose veins typically are dark purple or blue in color and may appear twisted and bulging – like cords. They most often are maligned for their unsightly appearance; however, they may cause the following symptoms: pain after prolonged sitting or standing; burning, throbbing or muscle cramping; swelling in your lower legs; a heavy feeling in your legs; aching legs; or itching around one or more of your veins.

Dr. Willard Campbell, a board-certified vascular surgeon at Premier Vein Clinics, advises that the condition should not be ignored. “Spider veins and varicose veins can be indicators of other serious vascular issues,” Campbell says. “Seeking medical attention can be far more important than just being able to show off your legs again.”

He advises that patients should seek treatment if they experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Your leg suddenly becomes swollen, red or very tender or warm to the touch. This could indicate a blood clot in a deep vein, a condition that can be serious and needs prompt attention.
  • The skin over a varicose vein begins to bleed on its own or when it is injured. The skin over varicose veins is often thin and can bleed heavily. If this happens, elevate your leg and apply pressure directly to the vein to stop the bleeding.
  • Your leg has a tender lump. This could be a clot or inflammation in a vein just under the skin, which is usually not dangerous but may need treatment.
  • You develop an open sore (ulcer). Skin ulcers near your ankle can represent a severe form of vascular disease and require immediate attention.
  • Your varicose vein symptoms don’t improve with home treatment, or there are symptoms you are concerned about.

In Parham’s case, the swelling and pain from her condition led to her decision to seek treatment.

Following treatment from Dr. Willard Campbell, Parham is happy with the improved looks of her legs. She says that she is even happier with how good she feels. She now enjoys an active lifestyle that includes walking two miles a day, biking and swimming.