Varicose veins are a common condition that affects many adults.
According to statistics, this disease develops more often in women than in men. These veins appear on the legs and become more frequent with age.
Further in the article, important facts about varicose veins are recorded, appropriate photographs are given to better understand what they look like, what they are like and how to treat them.
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are abnormally varicose veins that most commonly develop on the legs. Typically blue, purple or skin color.
Looks like dilated, twisted and bulging blood vessels that can protrude above the surface of the skin.
What are spider veins?
Spider veins (also called telangiectasias or spider veins, vasculature) are a set of small blood vessels that develop near the surface of the skin.
They are often red, blue or purple and look like a net. 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 different parts of the body back to the heart. They have a series of one-way valves to avoid backflow of blood.
For various reasons, these valves can be damaged, causing blood to return to the veins. Further blood stagnation increases the pressure inside the vein and weakens the blood vessel wall.
Then, due to blood stagnation and dilation of the affected blood vessels, arachnoid and varicose veins develop.
Reasons for development?
There are many different risk factors that increase a person's chances of developing varicose veins.
- prolonged standing or sitting,
- hormone therapy,
- taking birth control pills,
- previous vein surgery,
- history of venous thrombosis,
- family history.
Symptoms of varicose veins
Varicose veins often show no symptoms and signs other than their unwanted cosmetic appearance. However, some people may experience certain symptoms of varicose veins.
Symptoms may include:
- painful pain,
- burning sensation,
- tingling or cramps in the legs.
These symptoms often worsen after prolonged sitting or standing. Individuals may also develop brown skin color and eventually trophic ulcers.
Complications of varicose veins
If varicose veins are not treated, it can lead to the following:
- Trophic skin ulcers develop. These open wounds usually appear on the lower leg. Sometimes they can lead to the development of a soft tissue infection.
- Blood clots develop inside the veins (superficial thrombophlebitis).
- Possible bleeding from veins.
Diagnosis of vascular network and varicose veins of legs
The presence of varicose veins on the legs can be diagnosed by a thorough examination of the affected area, which is, as a rule, located on the legs.
The examination consists of a visual examination and palpation of the problem area. Special attention is paid to the areas of redness, swelling, skin discoloration and trophic ulcers.
There are various methods you can use at home to relieve some symptoms if they occur. These conservative methods can also help prevent any potential complications.
Compression stockings are a simple measure of home treatment that helps alleviate leg symptoms.
They improve blood circulation by increasing the pressure in the legs. These socks have different types and strength of compression. Your doctor may recommend the appropriate pair. It is usually sold in pharmacies.
A regular exercise and weight loss program can help alleviate the symptoms of spiders and varicose veins.
Affected people should avoid standing or sitting for a long time and lifting their legs while sitting or sleeping to improve circulation and reduce leg swelling.
Sometimes conservative treatment of varicose veins at home may not give the desired results. In these cases, specialized medical procedures can be performed, depending on the location and size of the abnormal veins.
These medical procedures are often performed for cosmetic reasons.
Sclerotherapy is a common technique that can be performed by a doctor; it is very effective in removing 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 eventually disappear. Multiple sessions may be required to achieve optimal results. Potential side effects include bruising, swelling, bleeding, infections, and skin discoloration.
Sclerotherapy: before and after
Sclerotherapy treatments may require multiple sessions, and the healing time may vary from person to person.
Generally, spider veins begin to disappear within 3-6 weeks after treatment, while varicose veins may 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 as an adjunct to sclerotherapy to maximize results. This technique is most effective for spider veins and small varicose veins.
For those patients who are afraid of needles, laser therapy provides an alternative treatment option, although your doctor may advise you which treatment is best for your 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 of treating varicose veins, in which the affected area is treated with light pulses of different ranges.
Laser therapy: before and after the procedure
As with sclerotherapy, multiple laser treatments are often required to achieve optimal results. Improvement can take weeks to months after treatment.
Surgery is a treatment option for more severe cases of varicose veins. Your doctor will talk to you about various possible surgical procedures to help you decide which varicose vein treatment is best for you. One of the surgical methods is bandaging the veins and removing them through small incisions in the skin.
Vein surgery: before and after treatment
Ligation and removal of veins are 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.
Complete recovery from this surgery usually takes about 2-4 weeks. Potential complications may 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 radiation through a thin wire inserted into an affected vein, causing it to narrow.
Intravenous laser therapy has a 98% initial success rate. 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 surgical removal of veins.
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 radiofrequency energy to heat and tighten the affected vessel.
As with intravenous laser therapy, patients report less pain and faster recovery compared to ligation and surgical removal of veins.
Prevention of varicose veins
Although varicose veins cannot always be prevented, there are various methods you can use to reduce their chances of developing them.
Prevention tips include:
- Regular exercise;
- Maintain a healthy weight;
- Avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time;
- Avoid pinching your legs while sitting;
- Raise your legs higher while resting;
- Do not wear clothing that tightens the 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.