An estimated 20 percent of adults will be affected by varicose veins at some point in their lives. Varicose veins are abnormal or enlarged blood vessels that are twisted and bulging. They are dark purple or blue in color and are common in the legs because standing and walking upright increases the pressure in the veins of your lower legs. Weak or damaged valves can cause varicose veins. Arteries carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body. Veins return blood from the rest of your body to your heart, so the blood can be recirculated. There are tiny valves that open up as blood flows toward your heart then close to stop the blood from flowing back. If these valves become weak or damaged, the blood can pool in the vein and lead to varicose veins. Varicose veins usually appear on the legs because the veins in your legs need to work against gravity. Spider veins are smaller and less severe. They are found closer to the skin’s surface and are often red or blue. They can be also be found in the legs, but often appear on the face and resemble a spider web. For most people, varicose and spider veins are a cosmetic concern, for others they can cause itching, cramping, pain and discoloration. Pain is often worse after sitting or standing for a long time.
Causes of Varicose Veins
Standing or sitting for long periods of time increase the risk of varicose veins. Additional risk factors include:
• Age. Risks increase with age because of wear and tear on the valves in the veins.
• Sex. Women are more likely to develop them.
• Pregnancy. The volume of blood increase with pregnancy.
• Obesity. Being overweight puts more pressure on your veins.
• Family history. You are at risk if you have family members that have varicose veins.
Varicose Veins Prevention
It’s impossible to completely prevent varicose veins but there are steps you can take.
• Improving circulation and muscle tone
• Exercising and watching your weight
• Eating a low-salt high-fiber diet
• Elevate your legs when you can
• Change sitting and standing positions regularly
• Avoid high heels and tight hosiery
Treatment Options for Varicose Veins
Elevation. You can elevate your feet above the level of your heart for 15 minutes, 3 to 4 times a day. If you need to sit or be on your feet you should bend your legs occasionally to help circulation. Elevation can prevent swelling and relieve other symptoms.
Compression stockings. These are elastic stockings that squeeze the veins to prevent blood from pooling and can be effective if worn every day.
Sclerotherapy. This procedure involves injecting a saline or chemical solution directly into the vein. This causes the vein to scar and collapse and forces blood to reroute through healthier veins. The collapsed vein reabsorbs into the local tissue and will eventually fade.
Sclerotherapy & More in Waco, TX (Just Minutes Away from Axtell, West, Lorena, Bellmead, Woodway, Hewitt, Robinson & Crawford, Texas)
Varicose veins are not considered a serious medical condition, but they can be uncomfortable and can lead to other problems. They are also very noticeable and can become an embarrassment. Contact Skin And Body Refinery to schedule a sclerotherapy consultation today.