Varicose veins are leg veins which do not pump blood efficaciously back to the heart and can be often visually perceived as bulging veins just underneath your skin on either leg. These varicose veins have valves in them which are not working efficaciously so that blood which is denoted to be pushed towards the heart, leaks downwards toward the legs. There are other leg veins which still working, so blood does eventually arrive through other routes to heart. However, varicose veins do exert integrated pressure on your circulatory system.
If the “leak” of varicose veins is severe enough it can cause inflammation to the circumventing skin with time, unlike other leg veins. Some can cause aching, throbbing, or restless legs after a long day and over many years can cause brown pigment, hardening of the skin, and may an ulcer.
It is still obscure what causes varicose veins. What we do know, however, is that varicose veins can and do run in families. Pregnancies, oral contraceptive pill, and prolonged standing are additional contributing factors of varicose vein development.
Sign & Symptom of Varicose Vein
Generally, varicose vein pain associated with a dull ache or heaviness. Swelling or itching of the legs at the end of the day can also occur. In rare cases, a brown pigment can be visually perceived around the veins which are caused as a result of varicose veins – which is a designation of more severe disease.
How Varicose Vein Developed
A definitive cause is not known however a family history suggests that some people inherit veins that are more liable to deteriorate. Blood in leg veins normally peregrinates upward to the heart. Due to gravity, blood endeavors to flow back down toward the feet. However, normal veins have valves which proximate to avert anomalous flow toward the feet. It is the breakdown of the valves that lead to anomalous flow, which in turn leads to incremented pressure in the vein. The incremented pressure eventually causes the vein wall to expand and bulge engendering a varicose vein.
Varicose veins have no useful function to the body’s circulation. Our body has the ability to establish alternative pathways to bypass the anomalous varicose veins. When varicose veins are closed down, the circulatory system improves and raises many of the symptoms.
Risk Factors of Varicose Vein
A common myth is that veins merely affect the older population, which isn’t true. Many women develop varicose veins during pregnancy. Other patients include those who involve standing on their feet long time such as factory workers, tradesmen, hairdressers, and retail staff. These people have a higher risk of developing varicose veins.
If both parents suffer from varicose veins, there is about a 70% chance of developing the condition and up to 40% with one parent. If you are experiencing vein pain, make sure to avoid hot tubs, saunas or spas. Heat increases inflammation and swelling also increase vein distention. Heat can rupture veins and cause massive bleeding inside leg.
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Types of varicose veins
Trunk varicose veins – These are proximate to the surface of the skin and are thick; they are visible, often quite long, and look unpleasant.
Reticular varicose veins – Red and sometimes grouped close together in a network.
Telangiectasia varicose veins – Known as thread veins or spider veins, these are minute clusters of blue or red veins that sometimes appear on face or legs; they are harmless and unlike trunk varicose veins.
Diagnosing of Varicose Vein
If you have varicose veins and they don’t cause any discomfort, you may not require visiting your GP. Varicose veins are rarely a serious condition and they don’t require treatment usually
However, verbalize with your GP if:
- Your varicose veins causing pain or discomfort
- The skin over veins is sore and irritated
- The aching in legs causing irritation at night and disturbing your sleep
Varicose veins are diagnosed by their appearance. Your GP will examine your legs while you’re standing to check for denotements of swelling.
You may additionally be asked to describe any pain you have and whether there are situations that make your varicose veins worse. In an instance, some women find their menstrual cycle (periods) affects their varicose veins.
Your GP will additionally want to know if you’re at an incremented risk of developing varicose veins, such as:
- Having the family history of varicose veins
- Being pregnant
- Body Mass Index (BMI)
- Having deep vein thrombosis
- History of the leg injury
Your GP may refer to a vascular specialist (a physician who specializes in veins) if you have any of the following:
- Varicose veins that causing pain, aching, discomfort, swelling, or itching
- Changes the colour of the skin on the leg that may be caused by the problem with the blood flow in the leg
- Skin conditions affecting your leg, such as eczema, that may be caused the problem with blood flow in the leg
- varicose veins that are hard and painful that may be caused by the problem with blood flow in a leg
- Healed or unhealed leg ulcer below the knee
- In most cases, a duplex ultrasound scan will be carried out. This is a type of scan that is high-frequency sound waves to engender a picture of the veins in your legs. The picture shows the blood flow and avails the vascular specialist to locate any damaged valves that might be causing your varicose veins.
Treatment of Varicose Vein
There are some self-care measures that take to decrease the discomfort that varicose veins can cause. These measures can help prevent or slow the development of varicose veins, as well. They include:
Exercise-Get moving. Walking a great way to increase blood circulation in the legs. Your physicians can recommend an appropriate exercise for you.
Weight and diet- Excess weight takes unnecessary pressure off your veins. A low-salt diet prevents swelling caused by water retention.
What you wear-Always avoid high heels. Low heel shoes work calf muscles more, which is better for veins. Try to avoid wearing tight clothes around your waist, legs or groin because these garments can reduce blood flow.
Elevate your legs- That improve circulation in your legs, take several times in daily to elevate your legs above heart level. In an instance, lie down and your legs resting on three pillows.
Avoid long periods of sitting or standing- Make a point of transmuting your position frequently to encourage blood flow.
Never sit with your legs crossed. Some physicians believe this position can increment circulation problem.
Wearing compression stockings all day long is often the first approach to before moving other treatments. They squeeze your legs, availing veins and leg muscles move blood more efficiently. The amount of compression varies by different type and brand.
Supplemental treatments for more severe varicose veins:
If not well respond to self-care or compression stockings, or condition is more rigorous, your medico may suggest one of these varicose vein treatments:
Sclerotherapy- In this procedure, your physicians inject small and medium-sized varicose veins with the solution that scars and closes those veins. In few weeks treated varicose veins should fade.
In some cases the same vein may need to inject more than once, sclerotherapy is efficacious if done correctly. Sclerotherapy doesn’t require anaesthesia and done in your physician’s office.
Foam sclerotherapy is done for large veins. Injection of a large vein with a foam solution also a possible treatment to close a vein and seal it. This is a more incipient technique.
Laser surgery- Physicians are also using new technology in laser treatments to close off small varicose veins and spider veins. Laser surgery works by sending vigorous bursts of light onto the vein, which makes the vein gradually fade and vanish. In this procedure, no incisions or needles are used.
High ligation and vein stripping- In this procedure involves tying off a vein before it joins a deep vein and abstracting the vein through minute incisions. This also an outpatient procedure for most people.
Ambulatory phlebectomy (fluh-BEK-tuh-me)- Your physicians remove more minute varicose veins through a series of minute skin punctures. Only the components of your leg that are being picked are numbed in this outpatient procedure. Scarring is generally minimal.
Endoscopic vein surgery- In this operation only in an advanced case involving leg ulcers and if other techniques fail. Your physician used a thin video camera inserted in your leg to visualize and close varicose veins and then abstracts the veins through minute incisions. This procedure is also performed in an outpatient procedure.
A number of alternative therapies claim to be helpful treatments for varicose vein. These include:
- Grape (leaves, sap, seed, and fruit)
- Butcher’s broom
- Horse chestnut
- Sweet clover
Talk with your doctor before trying any herb or dietary supplement to make sure these products are safe and won’t interfere with any medications.
Prevention of Varicose vein
There’s no way to consummately prevent varicose veins. But improving circulation and muscle tone can reduce the risk of developing varicose veins. Some measures you can take to treat the discomfort from varicose veins at home can avail prevent varicose veins, including:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Eating high-fibre and a low-salt diet
- Avoid high heels and tight clothes
- Elevating your legs several times a day
- Changing the sitting or standing position regularly