Varicose veins are not a temporary inconvenience or an annoyance like the common cold. While in most situations they don’t require immediate treatment, they also won’t go away if you ignore them. In fact, they will get worse and transition from irritating to uncomfortable to potentially dangerous.
Varicose veins are caused by a malfunctioning valve that allows blood to pool instead of pushing it along to your heart. The valve can’t be repaired and it will instead get weaker and do its job worse over time. The result: veins that you first notice because they are slightly discolored will become more prominent as they darken and enlarge. Some will look gnarled and rope-like.
Your legs will feel heavy and they will ache more often. Other complications could occur, such as blood clots, scaly skin over the diseased veins or eventually bleeding and open sores that resist healing.
You might be able to delay treatment by wearing compression stockings and elevating your legs several times during the day. Your doctor will tell you to exercise and watch your diet. But eventually the doctor will recommend procedures to treat your varicose veins permanently. Today’s modern vein treatment procedures are safe and allow you to resume normal activities in a day or two — with healthy legs.