The Progression of Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI)
CVI is a progressive condition, and symptoms tend to increase in severity as the condition goes on. You may or may not be experiencing any symptoms, but in general, this is the progression you can expect when suffering from CVI:
- No Signs but mild symptoms:
At this point, there are no obvious signs of CVI. Your lower limb veins look and act normal, although you may sometimes feel things like heaviness in the legs, pain in the legs, or other mild forms of discomfort.
- Reticular Veins:
This is the first sign of CVI. You may notice reticular veins, which look like enlarged, dark blue or dark green veins beneath your skin. They may not be painful, but they are the first stage of CVI.
- Varicose Veins:
The next stage is varicose veins, which appear as swollen, bumpy protrusions of veins. The swelling is caused by blood pooling in the veins when CVI interrupts the normal passage of blood through them.
- Edema (Swelling):
The next stage is edema, or swollen legs. Pressure from the swollen veins causes intravascular fluid to leak into surrounding tissues, but because of this pressure, it's difficult for the venous system to reabsorb fluids. You may notice one leg as more swollen than the other, or both legs may swell up.
- Topical Skin Changes:
In the next stage, you may see the actual color or texture of your skin change. This may take the form of over pigmentation, eczema, dermatitis, or lipodermatosclerosis (hardening of the skin).
- Healed Ulcer:
While this generally comes later in the progression of CVI, it's classed as the penultimate condition because it's not as severe as an active ulcer. Even so, a healed ulcer is a weak point for skin, and it presents an increased chance of recurrence.
- Active Venous Ulcer:
This is the most severe symptom of CVI, taking the form of an active ulcer in the skin: essentially, an open wound. The ulcer can form spontaneously or form after a minor injury or trauma to the skin. At this stage, treatment is critical.
Treating Chronic Venous Insufficiency
If you think you may be suffering from any of these symptoms, it's time to take charge of your skin, leg and body and seek treatment. At Aluna Vein Centers, we offer a wide variety of cutting-edge treatments for CVI, and Dr. Massoudi will work with you on an individual basis to design a treatment that fits the needs of your skin, leg and body and your lifestyle.
Contact Your Beverly Hills, Encino, Irvine & Glendale, CA Vein Experts
Are you ready to take back your leg and life? We're ready to help you get there. Just call us at 310-855-7171, find out more about vein treatments available to you
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