Varicose veins are a common condition that affects many adults.
According to statistics, this disease develops more in women than in men. These veins appear in the legs and become more common with age.
Later in the article, important facts about varicose veins are noted, the corresponding photos are provided for a better understanding of their appearance, what they are and how to treat them.
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are abnormally dilated veins that develop most commonly in the legs. Usually blue, purple or skin-colored.
They look like dilated, twisted and protruding 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 small blood vessels that develop close to the skin's surface.
They are usually 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 to the heart. They have a series of one-way valves to prevent blood from refluxing.
For various reasons, these valves can be damaged, causing blood to flow back into the veins. Additional blood stagnation increases pressure within the vein and weakens the blood vessel wall.
Then, due to blood stagnation and the expansion of the affected blood vessels, arachnoid and varicose veins appear.
The reasons for the development?
There are many different risk factors that increase a person's chances of developing varicose veins.
- old age,
- to stand or sit for a long time,
- hormone therapy,
- taking birth control pills,
- previous venous surgery,
- history of venous thrombosis,
- family history.
Symptoms of varicose veins
Varicose veins usually have no other symptoms and signs besides their undesirable aesthetic appearance. However, some people may experience certain symptoms of varicose veins.
Symptoms may include:
- throbbing sensation
- aching pain,
- burning sensation,
- itch, severity of
- tingling or leg cramps.
These symptoms usually get worse after sitting or standing for a long time. Individuals can also develop brown skin and, eventually, trophic ulcers.
Complications of varicose veins
If varicose veins are not treated, this can lead to the following:
- Development of trophic ulcers on the skin. These open wounds usually appear on the lower leg. Sometimes, they can lead to the development of a soft tissue infection.
- Development of blood clots within the veins (superficial thrombophlebitis).
- Possible bleeding from the veins.
Diagnosis of the vascular network and varicose veins of the legs
The presence of varicose veins in the legs can be diagnosed by a thorough examination of the affected area, which is usually located in the legs.
The exam consists of a visual examination and palpation of the problem area. Special attention is paid to areas with redness, swelling, discoloration of the skin and trophic ulcers.
There are several methods that you can apply at home to help relieve some of your symptoms, should they appear. These conservative methods can also help prevent potential complications.
Compression stockings are a simple measure of home treatment to help relieve leg symptoms.
They improve blood circulation by increasing pressure in the legs. These socks come in different types and compressive strengths. Your doctor can recommend a suitable pair for you. Usually sold in pharmacies.
Change in lifestyle
A regular exercise and weight loss program can help relieve the symptoms of arachnids and varicose veins.
Affected persons should avoid standing or sitting for long periods and lifting 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 may be performed, depending on the location and size of the abnormal veins.
These medical procedures are usually performed for cosmetic reasons.
Sclerotherapy is a common technique that can be performed by a doctor; it is very effective in eliminating most 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 and disappear. Several sessions may be necessary to obtain optimal results. Potential side effects include bruising, swelling, bleeding, infection and discoloration of the skin.
Sclerotherapy: before and after
Sclerotherapy treatments may require several sessions and the healing time may vary from person to person.
In general, spider veins start to disappear within 3-6 weeks after treatment, while varicose veins can 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 conjunction with sclerotherapy to maximize results. This technique is most effective for spider veins and small varicose veins.
For patients who are afraid of needles, laser therapy offers an alternative treatment option, although a doctor can advise you on the best treatment for your specific 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, skin discoloration, blisters and rarely scarring.
Laser therapy is a recently developed method for the treatment of varicose veins, in which the affected area is treated with pulses of light of different ranges.
Laser therapy: before and after the procedure
As with sclerotherapy, several laser sessions are often necessary to obtain the best results. The improvement can take from several weeks to several months after treatment.
Surgery is a treatment option for the most severe cases of varicose veins. Your doctor will discuss with you the various possible surgical procedures to help you decide which treatment for varicose veins is best for you. One of the surgical methods is to bandage the veins and remove them through small incisions in the skin.
Vein surgery: before and after treatment
Removal of the bandage and vein 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 to 4 weeks. Potential complications can 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 an initial success rate of 98%. 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 compared to ligation and removal of the vein by surgery.
Radio frequency ablation
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 removal of the vein by surgery.
Prevention of varicose veins
Although varicose veins are not always preventable, there are several methods you can use to reduce your chances of developing them.
Prevention tips include:
- Regular exercises;
- Maintain a healthy weight;
- Avoid sitting or standing for a long time;
- Avoid pinching your legs while sitting;
- Lift your legs further when resting;
- Do not wear clothes that tighten your body around the waist, groin and legs.
Dear friends. This article is not medical advice and should not be used as a substitute for consulting a doctor.