VARICOSE VEINS

CARE FOR VARICOSE VEINS

Varicose veins are bluish, twisted, enlarged veins just beneath the surface of the skin. Any vein can become varicose but the veins most commonly affected are those in the legs and feet, especially in those who stand for long periods of time.
Sometimes, varicose veins are a sign of something more serious, and not just a cosmetic concern. Often they cause pain and discomfort. They may also signal a higher risk of other circulatory problems.

Symptoms

Varicose veins may not cause any pain, and may appear as twisted and bulging dark purple or blue veins; often like cords on your legs.
However, when any of the following symptoms occur, please seek medical help:

  • An aching or heavy feeling in your legs
  • Burning, throbbing, muscle cramping and swelling in your lower legs
  • Pain that gets worse after sitting or standing for a long time
  • Itching around one or more of your veins
  • Bleeding from varicose veins
  • Painful, reddish veins
  • Changes like hardening of the vein, inflammation of the skin or skin ulcers near your ankle can mean you have a serious form of vascular disease that requires immediate medical attention.

 

Causes

 

Age

As you get older, your veins may lose elasticity, causing them to stretch. The valves in your veins may become weak, allowing blood that should be moving toward your heart to flow backward. Blood pools in your veins, and they enlarge and become varicose. The veins look blue because they have deoxygenated blood, which is in the process of being re-circulated through the lungs.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy increases flow of blood to the womb decreasing flow of blood to the legs. Varicose veins may occur for the first time or worsen during late pregnancy. Changes in hormones at this time might be a cause. If varicose veins develop during pregnancy, they improve without medical treatment, after delivery.

Other risk factors

Family history, hormone therapy or birth control pills, obesity and activities which require you to stand or sit for long periods

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