Superficial veins are those located near the surface of the skin, rather than in the muscle or deeper tissue. They play an important role in mobile movement and blood flow, as they carry both oxygen-rich and oxygen-poor blood, while their valves help ensure the blood flows in one direction.
Types of Superficial Veins
Superficial veins can be divided into two types. The femoral vein generally begins below the inguinal ligament in the groin area, while the saphenous vein starts at a person’s ankle and runs along the back of the calf up to the knee. Though the direction is reversed in the leg, the standard flow is from the leg toward the chest or toward the heart.
Health Issues Related to Superficial Veins
Superficial veins can be subject to various diseases, such as varicose veins or venous insufficiency. Varicose veins are enlarged and appear as blue or purple bulges under the skin. They may cause swelling and aching, as well as an itchy skin. Venous insufficiency occurs when the valves in the veins are not working well, impacting the ability of the body to effectively move the blood through the veins. This can cause swelling, pain and itching in the affected area.
Treatment for Superficial Veins
Treatments for superficial veins can vary based on the condition and other factors. As with any health issue, it is important to work with a qualified doctor to determine the best approach for the individual.
One possible treatment includes using a sclerotherapy procedure, which uses an injection of a special substance to cause the vein to collapse and disappear. This form of treatment is generally very effective and results can be seen within a few weeks.
If the vein is not causing any symptoms and is not visible, then laser treatment can be employed. The laser targets the veins and uses heat to collapse the vein and cause it to seal.
Other treatments may include compression stocking, laser ablation and radiofrequency ablation. Each treatment should be discussed with the doctor to ensure it is the right approach and that there are no contraindications.
Caring for Superficial Veins
In addition to working with a doctor, there are some steps people can take to help manage or prevent issues with superficial veins. These include staying active and exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding sitting or standing for too long and elevating the legs when possible. Additionally, people should wear compression stockings when possible to help improve circulation.
Overall, understanding superficial veins and possible related health issues is an important step to take for those that are experiencing any type of vein issue or for those who wish to prevent any issues moving forward. Taking the time to learn and educate oneself, as well as working with a qualified doctor, is the best way to ensure that only the right treatments and care is being received.