What Are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are a common health condition in males or females, and older adults often have varicose veins in their legs. While varicose veins usually occur in the legs, the twisted and enlarged veins can occur in other areas of the body.

What Causes Varicose Veins?

You might wonder why you have varicose veins, and this medical condition is caused by faulty pairs of leaflet valves. When the leaflet valves are working correctly, your body’s blood flows normally in the correct direction, but if the leaflet valves are damaged, then your blood can flow backward.

What Happens When You Have Varicose Veins?

Unless this condition is treated and repaired, the veins begin to enlarge, leading to twisting. You will usually see varicose veins in the legs because this area of the body receives a lot of pressure from gravity. Many people don’t like the way that varicose veins look, but this medical condition causes a lot of symptoms, including:

• Ulcerations
• Skin thickening
• Venous eczema
• Swelling in the legs
• Bruising
• Itchy skin
• Pain
• Cramping
• Slow healing after an injury
• Restless legs syndrome

What Are the Possible Complications From Varicose Veins?

There are several complications that can happen when you have varicose veins, including:

• Acute fat necrosis
• Blood clotting
• Severe bleeding
• Carcinoma
• Chronic ulcers
• Dermatitis
• Inability to walk or stand

How Are Varicose Veins Diagnosed?

A physician can usually see that a patient has varicose veins, but she can perform specialized tests to determine where the faulty leaflet valves are located. Physicians can use ultrasound or X-ray techniques to understand the problems in a particular vein that is twisted or enlarged. With the results from imaging tests, a physician can classify the varicose veins to determine what type of treatment is necessary.

What Causes Varicose Veins?

Women are more likely to have one or more varicose veins due to heredity and changes in hormones. Here are some of the reasons why people have varicose veins:

• Abdominal straining
• Leg injuries
• Prolonged standing
• Menopause
• Obesity
• Aging
• Pelvic vein reflux
• Lack of elastin or collagen
• Excessive alcohol consumption

What Are the Treatments For Varicose Veins?

Patients with varicose veins can use home treatments such as elevating their legs or wearing compression stockings. To relieve discomfort, an individual can apply topical ointments to the skin near the varicose veins. It is also acceptable to take pain-relieving medications with a physician’s approval.