Varicose veins are enlarged veins that appear to be twisted. Almost everyone has a spider vein, which appears to be bluish and apart from its lumpy and bulging appearance, it is mostly harmless. But, for some people, varicose veins are extremely painful.
Medical procedures like surgery have been gaining popularity as it provides relief from pain and also for aesthetic appeal and an improved look of the place where the varicose vein was initially visible.
Here are 5 things you must know about varicose veins:
What is it and who are more prone?
Veins are vascular structures with thin walls and with valves that keep the flow of the blood in our body in one direction, which is towards the heart. But when there is an abnormal blood flow due to weakened valves, blood pools towards the leg and leads to the development of varicose veins. In most cases, it has a starburst like pattern or it appears to be like a spiderweb or like a tree.
As compared to men, women are more prone to have varicose veins. Genetics plays a role too as you are more prone to have varicose veins if a family member has it.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of the varicose vein can be mild like muscle cramping, heavy legs which are achy or unexplained swellings around the ankle, which requires medical attention, however, they are not life-threatening. The serious symptoms like a sore and red skin ulcers which is accompanied by fluid drainage, or hyperpigmentation of the lower leg or even red, scaly skin which resembles eczema, required immediate medical attention. This is because these symptoms could be an indication of an underlying condition like deep vein thrombosis, which could be life-threatening.
What are the effective treatments available?
The treatment of varicose veins involves the use of compression stocking, which is known to be an effective option. Other minimally invasive treatments primarily aim to close the vein. It includes the use of glue to close the vein, sclerotherapy, which involves the use of a chemical foam and laser ablation, which uses a catheter to reach the vein and close the vein with the use of heat.
Is varicose vein preventable?
Often the use of compression stockings, which prevents the abnormal flow of the blood is said to give favorable results in the case of varicose vein. But, it cannot be guaranteed that the formation of the varicose vein can be prevented. However, maintaining a healthy weight with a balanced diet and moderate exercise can be beneficial as being overweight increases the chances of developing varicose veins.
When is surgery required?
In the case of varicose veins, surgery is like the last resort and is opted for after medicines and other treatments like the use of compression stockings have failed to provide relief. However, whether surgery is an option or not is decided by the physician on the basis of other factors like how large or small the varicose vein is and primarily the health condition patient.