Varicose Veins : How to check if you have Varicose Veins?385
Twisted, swollen veins are known as varicose veins. Any superficial vein (one that is close to the skin's surface) might become a varicose vein. Varicose veins most frequently affect the leg veins. This is due to the added pressure that standing and walking place on the lower body's veins.
Varicose veins and spider veins, a typical, minor variety of varicose veins, are frequently only an aesthetic problem for many individuals. Varicose veins may cause extreme pain and anguish in others. Sometimes, more serious problems might arise as a result of varicose veins.
Veins can be sealed or removed using self-care methods or professional medical treatments.
Weak or damaged valves may be the cause of varicose veins. The arteries in the body carry blood from the heart to every part of the body. Blood is returned to the heart through veins from the rest of the body. Gravity must be overcome in order for leg veins to return blood to the heart.
Blood returns to the heart with the assistance of lower leg muscle contractions and elastic vein walls. Veins have tiny valves that open to allow blood to flow towards the heart and seal to prevent it from flowing the other way. Blood can flow backwards and pool in the veins if these valves are weak or broken, which can stretch or twist the veins.
How to check if you have Varicose Veins?
Consult your healthcare doctor if self-care techniques have not relieved your concerns about the appearance and sensation of your veins.
Varicose veins might become more likely to form as a result of the following:
Age. With time, the vein valves that help regulate blood flow degrade. Once the valves have worn down enough, some blood can eventually flow back into the veins and accumulate there.
Sex. The illness is more likely to affect women. As female hormones tend to relax vein walls, hormonal changes before a menstrual cycle, during pregnancy, or during menopause might be a contributing factor. Hormone medications, such as birth control pills, may make varicose veins more prevalent.
Pregnancy. The body's blood volume rises during pregnancy. This alteration helps the developing foetus but may also cause the veins in the legs to expand.
Family background. If other members of the family had varicose, the likelihood will increase of you getting the condition.
Obesity. If you are overweight, your veins are put under more stress.
Sometimes varicose veins do not hurt. Varicose vein symptoms include:
- Bluish-purple or dark-purple veins
- Tangled, protruding veins on the legs that commonly resemble wires
Indications and symptoms of painful varicose veins include the following:
- Legs that be heavy or aching
- Lower leg oedema, muscular cramps, burning and throbbing
- After spending a lot of time standing or sitting, the pain gets worse
- Itching around a vein or many veins
- Skin tone variations close to a varicose vein
- Although spider veins are smaller, varicose veins and spider veins are comparable.
- Closer to the skin's surface, spider veins are frequently red or blue in colour.
- Spider veins can be found on the face, but they also appear on the legs. They are available in various sizes and typically look like spider webs.
Increasing blood flow and muscle tone may reduce the risk of developing varicose veins. The same procedures may be utilised to prevent varicose veins as well as ease their discomfort. Try these things:
- Avoiding wearing tight clothing and heels
- Regularly switch between sitting and standing positions.
- Following a low-salt, high-fibre diet
- Extending your legs when you are laying down or seated
- Monitoring one's weight
Compression stockings, surgeries, or other treatments can all be used as varicose vein treatment options in addition to self-care methods. Varicose vein treatments are frequently performed as outpatient procedures, so you typically return home the same day.
Check with your insurance provider to see if varicose vein therapy is covered. Insurance may not pay for varicose vein treatment if it is merely done for aesthetic reasons (to make the legs seem better).
Exercise, lifting the legs when sitting or laying down, and using compression stockings are all examples of self-care measures that can help reduce varicose vein pain and possibly stop them from growing worse.
The initial course of action is to wear compression stockings all day. The compression provided by the stockings helps veins and blood is moved more effectively by leg muscles. By kind and brand, compression levels differ.
Compression stockings are often available at pharmacies and medical supply stores. You could also be able to acquire insurance reimbursement for prescription-strength stockings if varicose veins are the root of your issues.
Operations or other processes
If self-care techniques and compression stockings are inadequate or if varicose veins are more severe, a healthcare expert may advise surgery or other procedures.
Sclerotherapy. A medical professional injects a solution or foam into the varicose veins to scar and shut them. In a few weeks, the treated varicose veins should go away.
There may be a need for several injections into the same vein. Sclerotherapy can be performed at a doctor's office without the use of an anaesthetic.
Laser therapy. The vein steadily deteriorates and eventually disappears as a result of the laser therapy's powerful light pulses. No cuts or needles are used.
Techniques utilising catheters and radiofrequency or laser energy. This procedure is the main strategy for managing larger varicose veins. A medical professional places a catheter—a tiny tube—into an enlarged vein and uses laser or radiofrequency radiation to warm the catheter's tip. The heat damages the vein by forcing it to collapse and seal shut when the catheter is withdrawn.
Vein stripping and high ligation. In this procedure, a vein is cut out and removed after being tied off right before it conjoins a deep vein. Most patients will have this surgery as an outpatient. Taking off the vein will not help.
Since the bigger amounts of blood are handled by veins deeper in the leg, blood is prevented from flowing in the leg.
In-office phlebectomy. Smaller varicose veins are removed by a medical practitioner using a series of tiny skin punctures. Only the locations that will be pierced are numbed on the leg during this outpatient procedure. Scarring is usually not very bad.
Complications of Varicose Veins
Even though they are uncommon, varicose vein complications might arise.
Ulcers. The skin around varicose veins can develop painful ulcers, especially close to the ankles. A skin discolouration generally appears before an ulcer develops. Consult your doctor as soon as possible if you suspect you have a leg ulcer.
Clots of blood. On occasion, bulging deep leg veins may be the cause of the swelling and pain in the legs. Consistent leg discomfort or swelling should be examined by a doctor since these may be symptoms of a blood clot.
Bleeding. Ruptured veins are those that are near the skin. Despite the fact that this usually only causes little bleeding, medical attention is still required.
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Page last reviewed: Mar 21, 2023
Next review due: Mar 21, 2025