What is Varicose?
Varicose veins are swollen, enlarged veins that are often blue or dark purple in color. They typically look like twisted, bulging cords and generally occur on the legs and feet. They frequently appear when the one-way valves in the veins that are meant to direct blood flow toward the heart no longer work properly.
Causes of Varicose Veins
The most common cause of a varicose vein is a condition called venous insufficiency, in which the valves in your veins fail to function properly. Other causes of varicose veins include:
- Prolonged standing
- Hormonal changes
Treating Varicose Veins
Various treatments are available for varicose veins, including:
- Compression stockings: Wearing compression stockings helps reduce the swelling and pain of varicose veins. They also help to prevent new varicose veins from forming.
- Exercise: Regular exercise can help improve the circulation in your legs, which can help reduce symptoms of varicose veins.
- Sclerotherapy: This minimally-invasive procedure takes place in a doctor’s office and involves injecting a solution into the vein to reduce its size and appearance.
- Laser treatment: Laser treatment is another minimally invasive procedure used to treat enlarged veins. It involves sending laser energy into the vein to shrink it.
Preventing Varicose Veins
There are a few steps you can take to help prevent varicose veins:
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Exercise regularly.
- Avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time.
- Elevate your legs when resting.
- Wear compression stockings.
Varicose veins can be a painful and unsightly condition, but taking steps to prevent them and seeking treatment when needed can help reduce the symptoms and improve your overall health. To learn more about varicose veins, speak to your doctor.