Varicose veins are swollen, twisted veins that you can see just under the surface of the skin. They usually occur in the legs, but can also form in other parts of the body. Veins have one-way valves that help keep blood flowing in the right direction. When these valves don't work properly, blood can flow backward and pool in the veins, causing them to enlarge and twist.
Causes: -Standing or sitting for long periods -Age -Being overweight or obese -Pregnancy -Hormonal changes -Heredity
Symptoms: -Swelling in the legs -Aching or heavy feeling in legs -Burning or itching skin -Muscle cramping and swelling in legs -Restless legs
Treatment: -Compression stockings -Lifestyle changes (e.g. exercise, weight loss) -Medications -Endovenous laser treatment (EVLT) -Sclerotherapy -Surgery
Prevention: -Exercise regularly -Maintain a healthy weight -Avoid standing or sitting for long periods -Wear compression stockings -Elevate legs when sitting
More about varicose veins
Varicose veins can lead to complications if left untreated, such as:
-Skin changes: Over time, skin over the veins can become discolored, thick, and ulcerated.
-Blood clots: Blood can pool in the veins and increase the risk of developing blood clots.
-Inflammation: Veins can become inflamed and cause pain and swelling.
-Bleeding: If a varicose vein ruptures, it can cause bleeding, which can be difficult to stop.
Varicose veins are a common condition, affecting about 20-25% of adults. Women are more likely to develop them than men, and the risk increases with age.
Diagnosis: A doctor can usually diagnose varicose veins by looking at them and asking about symptoms. Other tests, such as an ultrasound, may be needed to check blood flow in the veins.
To conclude, it's important to seek treatment for varicose veins to prevent complications and improve quality of life. Lifestyle changes, such as regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight, can also help reduce the risk of developing varicose veins.