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Burning Or Tingling Sensations In Your Legs And Feet

Mar 20

The body's veins transport blood from the legs to the heart, but they can also cause pain and discomfort. If left untreated, the most severe problem resulting from damaged veins in legs is deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a life-threatening condition in which a blood clot forms in one of your leg veins and travels to your lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism. Other complications of venous disease include venous stasis ulcers, which are open sores that don't heal easily and can become infected.

Damaged veins occur when the walls of your veins stretch and lose their elastic properties, causing the tiny internal valves to wear out and eventually leak. The leaking valves allow blood to flow in the opposite direction from its normal route, causing the veins to get enlarged and swollen. This process, known as chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), most commonly affects the veins farthest from your heart, which are in your legs. The accumulated blood in the legs creates a swollen, rope-like appearance called varicose veins.

Experts aren't sure what causes the walls of your veins to stretch and develop faulty valves, but they know that some factors can increase your risk for developing these conditions. These risk factors include being overweight or obese; being a woman, especially if you have been assigned female at birth; taking hormonal medications such as birth control pills and hormone therapy; and having a family history of varicose veins.

Even with early diagnosis and treatment, it's not possible to reverse the damage done by the weakened vein valves. However, treatment can reduce your symptoms and help prevent further complications such as venous ulcers.

You should always seek treatment if you have any of the warning signs of CVI, which include burning or tingling sensations in your legs and feet; swelling of your ankles and feet; and reddish, leathery-looking skin in your lower legs and feet. These symptoms can lead to a dangerous blood clot, which may break off and travel to your lungs, causing a life-threatening condition called pulmonary embolism.

Treatments for varicose and other vein diseases are minimally invasive and typically performed on an outpatient basis. During the outpatient procedure, your doctor injects a special solution into the damaged vein. This irritates the lining of the vein, causing it to close and forcing your blood to find a new path through healthy veins. Some treatments involve surgically removing the affected vein, while others can be accomplished through laser or similar therapies. In most cases, the treatment will leave your skin slightly sore, but it should only last a few days. The pain usually goes away on its own or can be controlled with anti-inflammatory medication. Your provider will recommend putting up your legs to reduce pressure in the veins, and you should do this for 30 minutes at least three times per day. You will also need to avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time. For more information, ask your provider about varicose veins and other vein diseases.