Varicose vein treatment
About Varicose veins
Varicose veins are damaged, twisted blood vessels that may occur anywhere on the body, but most commonly appear on the legs. These broken blood vessels are usually blue, purple, or red in appearance. Spider veins are a mild form of varicose veins, but are smaller in appearance and only raise slightly from the skin.
Weakened valves in the legs make it difficult for veins to carry blood from the lower body back to the heart. Blood begins to pool in the vein, causing it to bulge. Varicose veins are generally painless, and cause few - if any - symptoms. Individuals usually choose to treat these damaged blood vessels based on appearance, not a medical emergency.
Varicose veins are highly common.
- Genetics: Varicose veins usually run in families.
- Age: Valves in blood vessels weaken as you get older. Weakened valves can result in a lack of blood flow from the legs back to the heart, causing varicose veins.
- Sex: Women generally are affected by varicose veins more than men due to hormone changes.
- Weight: Being overweight can put extra pressure on veins in the lower body, weakening valves in the blood vessels.
- Pregnancy: Hormone changes during pregnancy, and the extra pressure put on the legs through added weight can affect blood flow from the lower body. In many cases, varicose veins go away after pregnancy.
- Prolonged sitting: Veins have to work extra hard to push blood back to the heart when you sit down for a long period of time. Because of this, you may begin to notice varicose veins appearing in the legs if you spend too much time sitting.
Most individuals seek treatment for varicose veins based on their appearance. However, swollen blood vessels can lead to complications if they burst or cause pain in the legs. If varicose veins begin to feel tender, itch, or if you experience swelling in the legs or feet, contact your health care provider right away. If left untreated, varicose veins can result in blood clots, skin ulcers, and bursting blood vessels.