Varicose veins, sometimes called spider veins, can develop due to aging, pregnancy, or prolonged sitting. They also tend to run in families. These veins are twisted, bulging veins that are usually blue or dark purple in appearance.
“Having concerns at the appearance of varicose veins on the skin is valid. For all you know, they could be an indication of a vein issue,” says Dr. David Pinsinski of Artemis Vein & Aesthetic Center. Varicose veins occur when vein valves fail or get broken, allowing blood to flow in the wrong direction or pool.
According to research, varicose veins or spider veins are considered to affect more than 23 percent of all individuals. Varicose veins affect about one out of every four adults in the United States.
What Are Varicose Or Spider Veins?
Varicose veins are swollen, large veins that commonly develop on the legs and feet. They form when the valves in the veins fail to function properly, causing blood to flow inefficiently. Varicose veins rarely require medical treatment, but if they cause swelling, aching, painful legs, and significant discomfort, therapy is available. Several treatments, including some natural therapy, are available.
In severe circumstances, a varicose vein can burst or develop into varicose ulcers on the skin. This is a medical emergency. While varicose veins are usually merely inconvenient and ugly, they can sometimes be life-threatening if left untreated.
Varicose veins can obstruct adequate blood circulation if they are not appropriately treated. This can lead to blood clots, leading to Deep Vein Thrombosis, a potentially fatal illness.
What Causes Varicose or Spider Veins?
In the vein, there’s a one-way valve that allows blood flow only in one direction. The valves may grow weaker if the vein walls expand and become less flexible or elastic. Blood can leak backward and eventually flow in the opposite direction due to damage to the valve.
This can cause the build-up of blood in a vein or veins, causing them to expand and swell. The veins commonly impacted are the ones in the legs, which are the furthest from the heart.
Genetics, pregnancy and lifestyle are usually to blame for the cause of varicose veins.
Symptoms of Varicose or Spider Veins?
There are various ways people may start experiencing varicose or spider veins. They include:
- When your ankles are swollen, your legs hurt, you feel cramps when getting out of bed (restless legs syndrome)
- The feeling of heaviness on the leg, especially after exercising or when sleeping
- A slight injury to the affected area causes the bleeding to last longer than usual
- (Lipodermatosclerosis) A condition in which fat beneath the skin right above the ankle hardens, causing the skin to shrink
- A gleaming discoloration of the skin near the varicose veins
- Venous eczema, also known as stasis dermatitis, is a condition in which the skin in the affected area becomes red, dry, and itchy
- When uneven whitish patches that resemble scars appear at the ankles, it is known as Atrophie Blanche
Risk of Having Varicose or Spider Veins
Experts are baffled as to why the walls of veins expand and why valves malfunction. However, the following factors can increase the possibility of developing varicose veins.
- Jobs: some jobs require people to stand for a lengthy period. People who work in such places are likely to develop varicose veins
- Age: the age factor is also another risk. It increases due to wear and tear on vascular valves
- Genetics: When varicose veins are in the history of the family, you’re likely to be affected
- Gender: females suffer from varicose veins more than men. Female hormones may cause veins to relax. If that’s the case, birth control pills or hormone therapy could help.
- Obesity: being overweight, there’s a 90 percent chance of developing varicose veins
- Exposure to the sun: Another common cause of varicose veins in the face
- Pregnancy: as a woman’s uterus grows, she puts more strain on her veins.
How Can Varicose or Spider Veins Be Prevented?
Though a person’s genes and hormones have a role in forming varicose veins, preventing them from growing is not always possible. There are, however, some precautions that can be taken to lessen the risk of varicose veins.
Here are ways how to prevent varicose veins:
- Regular exercise improves circulation and promotes blood flow back to the heart
- Anyone whose circumstances require them to stand for an extended period should aim to walk around every 30 minutes
- Avoid wearing clothes that constrict around the waist, groin, and upper legs, as this can prevent blood from flowing back to the heart
- Maintaining a healthy body weight
- To promote the easy flow of blood in the legs and throughout the body, take periodic walk breaks
- Limiting salt intake, as too much sodium can cause swelling
- Using compression stockings, apply gentle pressure to the legs to compress them and improve blood flow
Treatments of Varicose or Spider Veins
Treatment may not be essential if a person has no symptoms or discomfort and does not mind the appearance of varicose veins. Natural therapies such as compression stockings can provide relief for most people with varicose veins.
Suppose the symptoms persist and do not improve quickly. In that case, medical therapy may be required to relieve pain or discomfort and address consequences such as leg ulcers, skin discoloration, or swelling.
Some treatments for varicose vein include:
If a person’s varicose veins are extensive and irritating, surgery may be required. A treatment called ligation and stripping is used to remove the veins.
This is a procedure in which chemicals are injected into varicose veins, causing them to enlarge and close. Patients may need to repeat the treatment to remove the veins permanently.
#3. Endovenous Therapy
These procedures are typically carried out in a doctor’s office and entail putting a tiny catheter into a vein and closing it off with heat. Because the varicose vein is not functioning correctly, to begin with, sealing it off usually has few adverse effects.
#4. Laser Therapy
Varicose veins smaller than 3 millimeters in diameter can be treated with laser therapy.
#5. Compression Stockings
These are popular varicose vein treatments because they enhance blood circulation in the afflicted areas. Compression stockings are available over the counter or online, and a doctor can prescribe more excellent compression stockings if necessary.
Doctors are always coming up with innovative ways to treat varicose veins. On the other hand, varicose veins are common, and if they aren’t producing any symptoms or generating any adverse effects, they usually don’t require medical or invasive treatment.