Varicose Veins in the right leg

Varicose Veins: Causes and Treatment

Varicose Veins is a medical condition characterized by distention of the veins of the legs that has a bad cosmetic effect on the affected individual.

They are usually not problematic except for cosmetic problems they give as they do not look good. In some cases, they do become problematic if left untreated. It is entirely different from Deep Venous Thrombosis.

Treatment of Varicose veins includes a complex approach that is individualized and involves specialists like Vascular and Plastic surgeons.

What Causes Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins illustration in the leg. The veins are weak and not straight.
How varicose veins form

In a normal person, the veins which carry blood from the tissues back to the heart has valves that prevent the blood from flowing the wrong direction.

In Varicose veins, the valves are not properly preventing the backflow and they are usually weak, leading to poor blood flow in the superficial veins.

There are no known causes of Varicose veins. The risk factors include Pregnancy, Being Overweight and family history of Varicose Veins.

Symptoms of Varicose veins

In most people, Varicose veins are not painful at all. They initially feel like bumps in the legs without any visible distension.

As time goes the symptoms include feeling heavy legs, paresthesia and mild pain the legs. They do bleed sometimes with very minimal trauma. Some people develop dermatitis in the ankles due to stasis of blood (slowing and stopping of blood).

Exercise intolerance and itching of the veins is also common according to Medscape.

Treatment of Varicose Veins

The diagnosis of Varicose Veins does not require any test, just physical examination by the Health care professional is enough.

Treatment is in two main ways:

Compression stockings

Compression sock example
Compression sock

This means using a tight sock made for Varicose Veins to stop the veins from distending. A person has to wear it everyday to prevent worsening of the disease. It does not completely cure it, but prevent progress.

Leg elevation to avoid standing for a long time is helpful.

Laser Therapy and Sclerotherapy

Thermal ablation is done by using laser to correct coiled and insufficient veins.

Sclerotherapy on the other hand is use of chemicals such as Hypertonic saline (usually 20-23.4% sodium Chloride) to treat Varicose Veins. It needs a skilled person as it is associated with some complications

All forms of treatment do not help for a long period of time. The condition usually returns through development of Varicose Veins on other places.

Varicose Veins Patch example.
Varicose Veins Patch

The Patches that are sold (such as the one above) and other things like creams or essential oils usually do not work and are a waste of money.

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One thought on “Varicose Veins: Causes and Treatment

  1. I am truly impressed with how you have managed to describe the DVT challenges. Consistency is one of your biggest strengths. You did a great job with your DVT presentation today! Well done!

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