Varicose veins are a common condition that affects many adults.
According to statistics, this disease develops in women more often than in men. These veins appear on the legs and become more common with age.
Further in the article, important facts about varicose veins are noted, the corresponding photos are given for a better understanding of how they look, what they are and how to treat them.
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are abnormally dilated veins that most commonly develop in the legs. Typically blue, purple, or skin colored.
Looks like dilated, twisted and bulging blood vessels that can protrude above the surface of the skin.
What are spider veins?
Spider veins (also called telangectasias or spider veins, vasculature) are a collection of tiny blood vessels that develop near the surface of the skin.
They are often red, blue or purple, and have a web-like appearance. The most common spider veins are found on the face and legs.
What causes the development of varicose veins?
Varicose veins are caused by structural abnormalities in the blood vessels.
Veins carry blood from various parts of the body back to the heart. They have a series of unidirectional valves to avoid backflow of blood.
For a variety of reasons, these valves can become damaged, causing blood to flow back inside the veins. Further stagnation of blood increases pressure within the vein and weakens the blood vessel wall.
Then, due to the stagnation of blood and the expansion of the affected blood vessels, arachnoid and varicose veins develop.
The reasons for the development?
There are many different risk factors that increase a person's chances of developing varicose veins.
- old age,
- prolonged standing or sitting,
- hormone therapy,
- taking birth control pills,
- previous vein surgery,
- history of venous thrombosis,
- family history.
Symptoms of varicose veins
Varicose veins often show no other symptoms or signs other than their undesirable cosmetic appearance. However, some people may experience certain symptoms from varicose veins.
Symptoms may include:
- throbbing sensation
- aching pain,
- burning sensation,
- tingling or cramps in the legs.
These symptoms often worsen after prolonged sitting or standing. Individuals can also develop brown skin color and eventually trophic ulcers.
Complications of varicose veins
If varicose veins are not treated, this can lead to the following:
- Trophic skin ulcers develop. These open wounds usually appear on the lower leg. Sometimes they can lead to the development of a soft tissue infection.
- Blood clots inside the veins (superficial thrombophlebitis) develop.
- Possible bleeding from veins.
Diagnostics of the vascular network and varicose veins of the legs
The presence of varicose veins of the legs can be diagnosed by a thorough examination of the affected area, which, as a rule, is located on the legs.
The examination consists of a visual examination and palpation of the problem area. Particular attention is paid to areas of redness, swelling, skin discoloration and trophic ulcers.
There are various methods that you can apply at home to help ease some of your symptoms if they do appear. These conservative methods can also help prevent any potential complications.
Compression stockings are a simple home treatment measure to help relieve leg symptoms.
They improve blood circulation by increasing pressure in the legs. These stockings come in different types and compression strengths. Your doctor can recommend a suitable pair for you. Usually sold in pharmacies.
A regular exercise and weight loss program can help relieve the symptoms of arachnids and varicose veins.
Affected people should avoid standing or sitting for long periods and raising their legs while sitting or sleeping to improve circulation and reduce swelling in the legs.
Sometimes conservative treatment of varicose veins at home may not give the desired results. In these cases, more specialized medical procedures can be performed, depending on the location and size of the abnormal veins.
These medical procedures are often performed for cosmetic reasons.
Sclerotherapy is a common technique that can be performed by a doctor; it is very effective in eliminating most of the spider veins and some varicose veins.
During this procedure, which does not require anesthesia, the doctor injects a liquid solution directly into the affected vein, causing it to stick together and eventually disappear. Multiple sessions may be required to achieve optimal results. Potential side effects include bruising, swelling, bleeding, infection, and skin discoloration.
Sclerotherapy: before and after
Sclerotherapy treatments may require multiple sessions and the healing time may vary from person to person.
In general, spider veins begin to disappear within 3-6 weeks after treatment, whereas varicose veins may take several months to improve.
Laser treatment of varicose veins
Laser therapy is another alternative medical procedure that a doctor can also perform. It is sometimes used in addition to sclerotherapy to maximize results. This technique is most effective for spider veins and small varicose veins.
For those patients who are afraid of needles, laser therapy provides an alternative treatment option, although a doctor can advise you on which treatment is best for your particular situation.
Laser therapy uses a focused beam of light that heats the affected blood vessel, which eventually disappears.
Potential side effects include mild redness or swelling around the treated area, discoloration of the skin, blisters, and rarely scarring.
Laser therapy is a recently developed method of treating varicose veins, in which the affected area is treated with light pulses of different ranges.
Laser therapy: before and after the procedure
As with sclerotherapy, multiple laser sessions are often required to achieve optimal results. Improvement may take several weeks to several months after treatment.
Surgery is a treatment option for more severe cases of varicose veins. Your doctor will discuss with you the various possible surgical procedures to help you decide which varicose vein treatment is best for you. One of the surgical methods is bandaging the veins and removing them through small incisions in the skin.
Vein surgery: before and after treatment
Ligation and vein removal is often successful in treating the symptoms and cosmetic problems of varicose veins. This operation is performed under local, spinal or general anesthesia in a hospital.
Full recovery from this surgery usually takes about 2-4 weeks. Potential complications may include infection, bleeding, scarring, nerve damage, deep vein thrombosis, and adverse reactions to anesthesia.
Intravenous laser therapy
Intravenous laser therapy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that involves laser irradiation through a thin conductor inserted into the affected vein, causing it to narrow.
Intravenous laser therapy has a 98% initial success rate. This procedure is performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia or light sedation.
Patients report less pain and faster recovery with intravenous laser therapy than with ligation and vein removal by surgery.
Intravenous radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure similar to intravenous laser therapy.
Instead of using laser light, a catheter inserted into a vein uses radio frequency energy, which heats and narrows the affected vessel.
As with intravenous laser therapy, patients report less pain and faster recovery compared to ligation and vein removal by surgery.
Prevention of varicose veins
Although varicose veins are not always preventable, there are various methods you can take to reduce your chances of developing them.
Prevention tips include:
- Regular exercise;
- Maintain a healthy weight;
- Avoid prolonged sitting or standing;
- Avoid pinching your legs while seated;
- Raise your legs higher when resting;
- Do not wear clothing that squeezes your body around your waist, groin and legs.
Dear friends. This article is not medical advice and should not be used as a substitute for consulting a doctor.