Varicose Veins: Causes and Treatments


Varicose veins are veins that are twisted and enlarged and are most commonly found in the legs. They can occur in other areas of the body, but given that most of the pressure is on your legs while you are walking, then that is where the veins will most likely appear. Varicose veins are also known as spider veins, yet there are some differences between them. Varicose veins are generally swollen and raised, whereas spider veins are smaller and have different colors. 

They also have the tendency to look like spider webs, which is where they get their name from. Where many people could live with spider veins, Varicose veins are sometimes painful and need to be treated. Read on below to find out the causes and treatments of varicose veins.

Causes and Signs

Causes of varicose veins vary from regular activities to rigorous ones. The actual cause of varicose veins are weak vein walls and valves, yet those, with certain activities, may create the appearance of those enlarged veins. General risk factors include age, sex, pregnancy, family history, obesity, and, as mentioned, standing or walking for a long time. The signs are generally clear, but they are either swelling, bluish veins, aching, heavy feeling in legs and feet, leg cramps at night. They can also be a combination of all of these, at which point it will be essential to visit a doctor and seek treatment.


Treatments depend on the issue itself you have with the veins. Some people have an issue with the way it looks rather than any physical pain, and others have an issue with both. Whichever the case, there is a varicose vein treatment created especially for it. The first of which is surgery, yet this is done for veins that are abnormally large and must be done under anesthesia. The second form of treatment is ligation and stripping, where two incisions are created, depending on the vein, but if it is on the legs, then one is created near the groin, and the other beneath the vein itself. Other treatments include sclerotherapy, which is an injection to remove the vein, and radiofrequency ablation, which uses a catheter to be threaded in the vein and pulls out.


There are ways that you can prevent the occurrence of varicose veins. This includes exercising, making sure your weight is in the normal range of the BMI scale, eating less salt, limiting the wear of heels or tight pants, practicing elevating your legs every once in a while, and changing your sitting position if you sit down for work a lot. These are some things that you can do if you are diagnosed with weak vein walls, at which point you are a candidate for any of those symptoms. 

The most important step you must take after you self-assess is to visit a doctor. A doctor will be able to diagnose your symptoms correctly and make a decision as to which type of treatment would work best. You can always visit a doctor beforehand to ask whether you would be susceptible to getting varicose veins in order to go through the steps of prevention.



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