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Varicose Veins

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Varicose veins

Overview

Swollen blood vessels appearing just under the skin of your lower body are called varicose veins. This happens when your vein walls are weak. This leads to improper functioning of valves for blood backup in your vein.

Varicose veins are not dangerous for most people although they can be unsightly and uncomfortable. But it can lead to blood clots in some serious cases.

Who is likely to get varicose veins?

While anyone can get varicose veins, there are no. of factors that can increase the chances of varicose veins development. These are:

  • Lifestyle

Standing or sitting for long duration can lead to varicose vein development as it leads to decreased circulation of blood.

  • Family history

Varicose veins can be inherited from family.

  • Gender 

Pregnant women or women taking birth control pills may develop varicose veins. 

  • Age

Ageing leads to decreased performance of vein walls and valves. 

Symptoms

Varicose veins are identified by a twisted, blue or purple vein just beneath the skin’s surface. Other symptoms include:

  • Skin discoloration

Varicose veins can create brown discolorations on your skin if left untreated. Venous ulcers (sores) on your skin can be caused by severe varicose veins.

  • Bulging legs

Leg muscles, especially after physical exertion, may feel fatigued, heavy, or sluggish.

Causes

Varicose vein is a cause of varicocele, a condition in which veins bulge. The weak walls of your vein enable it to expand when blood pressure rises. The valves that keep blood flowing in one direction in your vein are unable to function properly when your vein expands. Sluggish blood causes your veins to expand, bulge, and twist as it collects at the rear of your veins.

For a variety of causes, vein walls and valves might weaken.

  • Hormones.
  • The passage of time.
  • Excessive body fat.
  • Clothing that is too tight.
  • Standing for lengthy periods of time causes a buildup of pressure in the veins.

Diagnosis

Near the surface of your skin, varicose veins may be easily seen. The disorder may be diagnosed via a physical examination by healthcare practitioners. Your veins will be felt and examined while you are both seated and standing.

An ultrasound may be recommended by your doctor if they want to inspect your veins up close and check for any issues. Sound waves are used to create images of the tissues within your body during this painless and safe procedure. Blood clots and the health of your heart valves may be detected with ultrasounds.

Treatment for varicose veins

Although varicose veins cannot be cured, these procedures may lessen their appearance and alleviate their symptoms:

  • Elevation: You should raise your legs above your waist multiple times during the day to promote blood flow and reduce pressure in your veins.
  • Elastic stockings: Supportive stockings or socks with elastic bands compress your veins to relieve pain. Helps blood flow by keeping your veins from dilating and preventing them from expanding.
  • Sclerotherapy: A healthcare professional injects a solution into your vein during sclerotherapy. Vein walls get glued together as a result of the solution. Scar tissue replaces your vein’s original structure, and eventually it disappears completely.
  • Laser therapy: Endovenous thermal ablation is a minimally invasive laser treatment method that closes up a damaged vein using a catheter and laser.
  • Vein surgery: This treatment, known as ligation and stripping, involves tying off the vein in question to prevent blood from accumulating and causing a clot. Depending on the severity of the varicose veins, the surgeon may remove the vein.

Side effects of the treatment

Varicose veins may recur in half of those who have surgical stripping, and endovenous ablation can cause them as well.

The following are possible adverse effects:

  • Scarring.
  • The skin is red and irritated.
  • Infection.
  • A nerve has been injured.
  • thrombosis of the deep veins (a blood clot in a vein deep inside your body).

Side effects of sclerotherapy include the following:

  • For a few days after the needle was inserted, you may experience some redness or bruising.
  • When the needle pierced the skin, it left behind a few months of brown spots.
  • Some months of clumps or hardness.

Sclerotherapy may cause new varicose veins to form, which necessitates a course of treatment.

How to prevent varicose veins?

Varicose veins may not be preventable. Living a healthy, active lifestyle may lower your risk of having them. Varicose veins may be prevented and treated using many of the same methods that are recommended by doctors:

  • Do not stand for lengthy periods of time. If your profession needs you to be on your feet all day, it is extremely important that you take frequent breaks to stretch and move about.
  • To improve blood flow to your heart, raise your feet above your waist.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight minimises the pressure in your blood vessels by getting rid of extra pounds.
  • Smoking destroys blood arteries, reduces blood flow, and causes a broad variety of health issues. Tobacco use should be avoided.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle by moving often and avoiding lengthy periods of inactivity.
  • If you have varicose veins, consider using compression stockings. They compress your veins and assist blood flow, preventing them from growing worse.
  • Make sure your clothing fit you properly. Make sure your waistline isn’t too tight to stimulate blood flow.

Prognosis

Most of the time, varicose veins aren’t hazardous or harmful to your health in the long run. Most persons with varicose veins are worried about how they seem. They may feel some pain, but no long-term problems result.

The vast majority of pregnancies end with varicose veins disappearing within two or three weeks following the birth of your child. After therapy, varicose veins may return in some patients.

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