Varicose veins are not always a cosmetic issue; they can actually become very painful if left untreated. They are usually found of the legs, they can cause an achy pain or heavy feeling in some. In others, varicose veins can cause burning, throbbing and swelling. Sometimes, if untreated, varicose veins can lead to more serious skin problems, such as skin ulcers and blood clots; they are also a good indication of a higher risk of circulatory problems. It is said that between 20 and 25 million Americans have varicose veins.
Spotting varicose veins is simple if you know what to look for. They are dark purple or blue; look twisted and enlarged, and often is raised above the skin. Veins can become varicose when their valves are weakened or damaged, such as the picture above. Normally, valves open and shit to keep blood moving in one direction, which is back towards the heart. When they aren’t working properly, blood can flow backwards through the valves and pool in the veins, causing them to stretch, swell and twist.
To treat them, you really have to start with lifestyle changes. Exercising, elevating your legs, and avoiding long periods of standing or sitting can drastically help ease pain and keep veins from getting worse. In some cases, compression stockings can help alleviate swelling and symptoms as well. For sever varicose veins, there are minimally invasive options that can fade or remove the vein, while newer treatments use radiofrequency, lasers, and heat to close off the vein.
To reduce your rise, you can watch your weight, follow a high-fiber and low-salt diet, and be sure to change positions throughout the day. While you cannot completely prevent varicose veins from forming, and certain risk factors are out of your control, like family history and age; women, unfortunately are at a higher risk for developing varicose veins than men.