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What should I do if I accidentally cut my bulging varicose veins?

I have bulging varicose veins and am afraid to shave and wear shorts because I do not want to accidentally cut/puncture my veins. Are varicose veins more prone to being cut? What should I do if I accidentally cut my bulging varicose veins?

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Doctors Answers (4)

A shaving nick or cut is typically very shallow involving only minimal bleeding from small superficial veins and capillaries. If a varicose vein is accidentally cut it will usually bleed profusely, but only for a short time as the vein empties and the pressure drops. Varicose veins if they are very large can even spontaneously rupture and bleed (usually around the ankles) if the vein wall is stretched too thin. To control vein bleeding you need only to apply mild pressure with your hand slightly above the point of bleeding and, if possible, elevating the leg is also helpful. Similar to a nose bleed, it will decompress and stop bleeding with time. Treating the varicose veins is now an office procedure and may make your shaving both quicker and easier.

Do not cut it. Go get it treated. Treatment is covered by most insurances if you are in danger of a bleed, or have symptoms such as aching, cramping, itching, tingling/numb, restless legs, Charlie horses, and frequent elevation of legs, i.e. sitting and propping feet up on a footstool or recliner. These are symptoms associated with varicose vein disease.

The risk of a bleeding or rupture is small, but it does occur. The more prominent the bulging of the vein, the greater the risk for bleeding. If it occurs it is best to hold firm pressure and elevate the limb above the level of your heart. The elevation reduces the pressure in the veins and the compression allows a clot to form to stop the bleeding. If you are unable to stop the bleeding you should seek emergency medical attention.

If bleeding occurs, put direct pressure over the area and elevate the leg as high as possible - then seek medical care as soon as is practical.

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