Varicose veins are bluish-purple or red coloured veins that you can find on your lower legs. Also called as varicoses or varicosities, these are veins that are enlarged, dilated and overfilled with blood. It is very common amongst women; Almost 25% of adult women have varicose veins.
Veins have valves that prevent backward flow of blood. When these veins fail, the blood isn’t able to continue towards the heart. Thus the veins become enlarged resulting in varicose veins. Some factors that can cause varicose veins include pregnancy, menopause, obesity, being over 50 years of age, menopause and standing for long periods of time.
Your doctor will examine the bluish-purple veins and will enquire you for any other symptoms you might be experiencing like pain. Ultrasound test may be done to check the blood flow. Different tests maybe performed to eliminate the possibility of blood clots that may be causing the pain and other symptoms.
Avoid standing for long periods of time. Try sitting in between for a few minutes before standing up again and continuing with your work. It is advised that you even keep a chair in your kitchen so that you don’t have to stand continuously as you cook.
If you are overweight then it might be time to shed those few extra pounds and maintain a healthy weight.
Exercising is also known to help with varicose veins. Try out different things like yoga, swimming and see what floats your boat.
Use compression stockings that are specially made for varicose veins.
Sclerotherapy is a form on treatment in which a liquid or foam is injected into the vein to form a clot and destroy the vessel altogether.
If varicose veins are really painful then you might be recommended by your doctor to go for surgery. It is an invasive surgery in which the veins are cut and removed through incisions. This is a last resort to get rid of varicose veins; A more non-invasive treatment like the ones mentioned above are generally advised.
Varicose veins are more of a cosmetic problem than a health one but ones that do not go away with any sort of treatment pose a more serious problem. They could lead to ulcers, sores or blood clots. The veins could also rupture if it becomes too severe. So, as soon as you see any of the above signs, consult with your doctor immediately.