What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are large, swollen veins that often appear on the legs and feet. They happen when the valves in the veins do not work properly, so the blood does not flow effectively.
The veins rarely need treatment for health reasons, but if swelling, aching, and painful legs result, and if there is considerable discomfort, treatment is available.
There are various options, including some home remedies.
In severe cases, a varicose vein may rupture, or develop into varicose ulcers on the skin. These will require treatment.
Veins are blood vessels that carry blood from your body's tissues to your heart. The heart pumps the blood to your lungs to pick up oxygen. The oxygen-rich blood is then pumped out to your body through your arteries. From your arteries, the blood flows through tiny blood vessels called capillaries, where it gives up its oxygen to the body's tissues. Your blood then returns to your heart through your veins to pick up more oxygen.
Types of varicose veins
There are several types of varicose veins, such as:
trunk varicose veins:- these are generally seen as long, dilated tortuous channels and can look unpleasant. Generally seen on the inner side of the thigh.
Superficial varicosities/ branch type varicose vein: enlarged blob of vessels mainly seen below knee can be solitary but are mostly accompanied with truncal varicosities.
Genital area varicose vein: they occur because of back flow in the pelvic veins and are seen and bulged channels around the genital area.
Reticular and spider veins: these are small 2-3 mm bluish tinged lines that spreads like web. These are not bumby like truncal varicosities.
Pregnancy Related:-When you’re pregnant, you produce extra blood which can put added pressure on blood vessels and lead to varicose veins in the legs, pelvic area and on the vulva. Women who have had multiple pregnancies are more prone to Pelvic Congestion Syndrome (PCS), which causes moderate to severe varicose veins to develop in the legs and pelvic area that are much more painful than regular varicose veins. Pregnancy-related varicose veins can be effectively treated using Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy (UGS).
Causes of varicose veins
Weak or damaged valves in the veins can cause varicose veins. After your arteries deliver oxygen-rich blood to your body, your veins return the blood to your heart. The veins in your legs must work against gravity to do this.One-way valves inside the veins open to let blood flow through and then shut to keep blood from flowing backward. If the valves are weak or damaged, blood can back up and pool in your veins. This causes the veins to swell.
Certain things can increase your chances of developing varicose veins, such as:
- being female
- having a close family member with varicose veins
- being older
- being overweight
- having a job that involves long periods of standing
- being pregnant