Varicose veins are large blood vessels which are twisted and swollen. These are located under the skin of the legs.
Spider veins are smaller blood vessels, which also twist and turn. These are usually visible through the skin of the legs and face.
This problem is common. Women are more prone to this problem than men.
Veins carry blood back to the heart. Muscle contraction in your legs acts as a pump and pushes the blood towards your heart. It needs more strength because it has to work against the force of gravity. There are one-way tiny valves in the veins of the legs. These valves allow blood flow towards the heart and stop the blood from flowing back.
For some reasons, if these valves fail to stop the blood flowing back, there is an overload of pressure. The excessive pressure results in the widening of the veins. The blood flows back into the legs through these veins and the result is the development of varicose veins. Since this is the deoxygenated blood, the colour of veins changes to blue
Causes of Varicose Veins:
Age is the main cause of this problem. In the old age, your veins lose flexibility. The valves in your veins become weaker and allow blood to flow backward. Blood pools in the veins. These become enlarged and varicose
Pregnancy may be one of the causes of this disorder. Due to pregnancy, the volume of the blood toward your body is increased, but the flow of blood towards your heart is decreased. The reason is, the more blood is supplied to the pelvis to support the fetus. But there is a side-effect of this and that is varicose veins.
Change in hormonal balance during pregnancy may also cause this disease.
The problem due to pregnancy may subside after the pregnancy is over.
Due to obesity, extra pressure is exerted on your leg veins leading to this problem.
Heredity also plays a role in the development of this disorder.
Occupations involving a lot of standing, such as hairdressers, nurses, teachers, are more prone to this disorder.
Imbalance of hormones due to puberty and menopause.
6. Other General Causes:
I. Trauma, injury to the skin and previous vein surgery.
II. Exposure to excessive ultraviolet rays.
III. Use of birth control pills.
Symptoms of Varicose Veins:
I. Veins adopt dark purple or blue colour.
II. Veins appear twisted and bulging, look like cords on your legs.
III. Feeling of heaviness in your legs.
IV. Swelling in your legs.
V. Muscle cramping in your legs.
VI. Burning and throbbing sensation in your legs.
VII. Severe pain if you sit or stand for a long time.
VIII. Itching around your veins.
IX. Bleeding from varicose veins.
XI. Inflammation of skin.
Treatment of Varicose Veins:
- You can use support stockings. These are available from any surgical store or pharmacies. These are available in, “below the knee, above the knee, and pantyhose styles”.
- Change your life style. A weight loss programme or a regular exercise will help you to minimize this risk. You should avoid standing for a long time. Elevate your legs while sleeping or sitting to improve your blood circulation, and to decrease the risk of varicose veins.Do not sit cross-legs. Avoid wearing tightly fitted clothing around your groin, waist, and legs.
- Laser therapy is also a treatment.
- Vein surgery is also performed as a treatment.