Where do varicose veins on the legs come from and how to cure them?

16 October 2023
Varicose veins on the legs. En Source: VistaCreate

Thickened, convex and clearly visible veins – this is what typical varicose veins on the lower limbs can look like. Their presence can indicate more serious circulatory conditions. Where do varicose veins come from? How can they be treated and is there an effective way to avoid them?

Varicose veins – what are they and what do they look like?

The appearance of advanced varicose veins is very distinctive and difficult to miss – they are clearly visible, thickened and even convex to the touch. The skin around them may be reddened or differ in shade from the natural color of the complexion.

As the name may suggest, varicose veins are a condition affecting the veins. Each vein naturally expands and contracts when exposed to temperature, blood pressure and the degree of physical activity. Healthy veins are flexible and have the ability to expand and contract. When a vein becomes permanently dilated and elongated, this is what we call varicose veins.

Why do varicose veins form on the legs?

A whole range of abnormalities can occur in any vein found in the human body, but nevertheless varicose veins most often affect the lower extremities. Why? Several factors are to blame, and one of them is gravity.

In order for blood to be drained from the lower extremities, it must travel a long way, and in an upward direction – this ability is provided by both optimal blood pressure and the structure of the veins and arteries, which are equipped with valves. Obesity, a sedentary lifestyle and insufficient exercise are just a few of the many issues that adversely affect the proper functioning of the venous system. Under the influence of these and other factors, venous reflux and abnormal functioning of the valves can occur, and this leads directly to the formation of varicose veins.

Other factors that affect the formation of varicose veins of the lower extremities:

  • Genetic issues – the occurrence of varicose veins in relatives.
  • Mature age.
  • Female gender.
  • Sedentary lifestyle.
  • Lack of physical activity.
  • Overweight and obesity.
  • Hormonal problems or changes, taking hormonal contraception.
  • Pregnancy and Menopause Period.

Leg varicose veins are a problem that statistically most often affects middle-aged and elderly women. However, this does not mean that varicose veins of the lower extremities cannot develop in men or young people. Civilization changes, genetic load and even hormonal abnormalities are issues that can cause varicose veins at a young age. Fortunately, modern medicine knows various ways to treat and remove varicose veins.

What are the symptoms of varicose veins?

The lesioned veins, which are convex, thick and have a tortuous course – these are the characteristic symptoms of advanced varicose veins. However, the condition can be diagnosed much earlier.

Early signs of varicose veins:

  • Spider veins on the skin – they are most often seen around the ankles.
  • Frequent feeling of heaviness in the legs, swelling.
  • Calf cramps.

Symptoms of advanced varicose veins:

  • Visible veins that become convex, winding and very pronounced.
  • Discomfort, pain and swelling in the legs. Initially they may pass after prolonged rest. Over time, they can be constant complaints.

Leg varicose veins may also be accompanied by skin changes – the skin around them may take on a reddish hue. Advanced varicose veins on the legs is a serious ailment that can significantly affect the comfort of life. That is why it is not worth delaying diagnosis and implementing treatment. A complication of untreated varicose veins can be venous thrombosis and even pulmonary embolism.

Leg varicose veins – diagnosis and treatment

There are various methods of treating varicose veins. However, before you choose any of them, consult a specialist. A doctor for varicose veins and treatment of other venous conditions is a phlebologist and a vascular surgeon. If your symptoms indicate the possibility of varicose veins, you are likely to have a Doppler ultrasound, which allows you to examine the venous system and detect possible clots and other abnormalities.

What are the treatment methods for varicose veins of the lower extremities?

  • Compression therapy and symptomatic treatment – these are methods that can be used when the discomfort is not severe and when sclerotherapy or one of the varicose vein removal techniques cannot be performed for some reason. Compression therapy involves the use of specialized compression products (usually knee socks, tights or stockings). Graduated compression has a beneficial effect on circulation in the lower extremities, and also reduces pain and the tendency to swelling. As part of symptomatic treatment, pharmacotherapy may also be used, in particular varicose vein ointment (for example, with heparin), oral agents (for example, reducing blood clotting, improving circulation).
  • Sclerotherapy of varicose veins – one of the most popular methods of treating small varicose veins and vascular spider veins. During the procedure, a specialized agent of liquid or foam consistency is injected into the lumen of the selected vein. Its role is to close the vein, and consequently reduce the existing varicose vein.
  • Laser removal of varicose veins – or laser ablation. It is a minimally invasive technique for closing cracked blood vessels and reducing varicose veins.
  • Surgical varicose vein removal – this is the most invasive technique, but it is also the only one that allows the actual and complete removal of varicose veins. However, this procedure is associated with a higher risk of complications.

Varicose vein removal and reduction with sclerotherapy, laser or surgery are procedures worth considering when varicose veins appear on your legs. Don’t wait until they grow and cause discomfort. Treatment implemented at an earlier stage can be less invasive! Make an appointment for a phlebology consultation and find out which varicose vein treatment will be most beneficial for you. Also take care of proper prevention for the future to avoid the formation of further varicose veins.

How to minimize the risk of varicose veins? Prevention for healthy veins

Varicose veins are a fairly common ailment that can affect the daily comfort of life, as well as the aesthetics of the legs. What to do and what not to do to minimize the risk of their appearance?

  • Maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Avoid smoking cigarettes, which increase the risk of developing thrombosis and other cardiovascular diseases.
  • Wear comfortable clothes and footwear – avoid pants and shoes that are too tight.
  • Take care of the optimal amount of exercise every day, walk, play the sport of your choice.
  • Rest with your legs slightly elevated, especially if you spend many hours sitting or standing during the day.

Keep in mind that varicose veins spotted early can be cured more easily. Pay attention to their early symptoms and, if necessary, consult a doctor.

Karol Popko

Karol Popko is an experienced author whose pen has been shining in the lifestyle world for many years. With his copywriting practice and insight into trends, he not only shares practical tips, but also opens up a deeper understanding of these topics to his readers. According to Karol, beauty can be found everywhere, and life is worth celebrating with passion and style.

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