Those bulging, swollen, purple, ropy veins that are seen just under your skin aren’t a pretty scene. One just wishes we never have to experience the condition, until one fine day you see one such bulge on your leg, which in medical terminology is Varicose vein.
Varicose veins do not always appear on legs. If these veins appear near anal and rectal region, they are known as hemorrhoids.
At times these Varicose veins mean nothing, but at times can be grave cause of concern – in short – we cannot ignore the condition.
Varicose veins are caused by damaged valves within the main veins (known as the deep veins) that usually pump up the deoxygenated blood to the heart. Once damaged, the valves instead of pumping up the blood allow it to go the reverse direction that builds up pressure in the superficial veins that are close to the skin.
The cause of Varicose veins can be hereditary, but not always. However, few factors like pregnancy, prolonged standing, obesity, chronic constipation, distended belly, enlarged prostate, chronic cough, trauma are known to have led to damage of valves in the veins and Varicose veins. One should confirm with a doctor if one sees bulging and ropy purple veins under the skin, or even small red or purple bursts caused by swollen blood vessels (capillaries) on knees, thighs or calves; in most probability they are varicose veins. Also consult a doctor if your legs continuously ache, or there is a stinging pain in the legs or if legs are swollen.
As mentioned earlier, Varicose veins are harmless but at times can lead to blood clots. If there is pain in the chest, trouble breathing, one of the cuases can be the clot and one must immediately seek emergency medical care. On the other hand minor trauma or tear can cause these veins to bleed, in which case keep the leg in elevated position and apply pressure for some time. This should stop bleeding.
In mild cases doctors may recommend compression stockings that put gentle pressure up the leg that keeps the blood from accumulating in the veins and hence reduces swelling. However follow doctor’s instruction on duration the stockings have to worn. When Varicose veins become problematic the doctor may suggest other treatment methods like lerotherapy, Endovenous Laser ablation , Vein Stripping surgery. But, as the saying goes – Prevention Is Better Than Cure.
1. One can begin by avoiding sitting or standing for long periods of time without taking a break.
2. If you have a tendency for Varicose veins then avoid sitting cross legged. Always keep you leg in an elevated position while sitting. Whenever possible raise your legs above the level of your heart; this exercise in known to help in the long run.
3. Do exercise that improves your muscle tone. Try reducing you weight if you are obese, among the numerous benefits, reduced weight exerts less pressure on the veins.
4. Wear loose clothes, especially the ones that aren’t too tight around waist, groin and legs, if you have varicose veins.
5. Avoid using high heels for long periods of time.