How Do Varicose Veins Happen?
Usually varicose veins are caused by weak vein valves and walls.
In your veins are small one-way valves which open to let the blood flow through, and then close to avoid it coming backwards. Sometimes, the veins lose their elasticity, become stretched, which causes the valves to weaken.
When the valves do not function properly, the blood can start to leak and flow backwards. The blood collects in your veins, which causes them to sweal and enlarge.
We do not yet fully comprehend why the valves weaken and the veins stretch. In some cases, these conditions develop for no apparent reason.
When are varicose veins dangerous?
Varicose veins are not usually dangerous, but, if left untreated, there can sometimes be complications. Here are some of the consequences you may have from a lack of medical attention.
Swelling in your legs can be caused by built-up pressure in your veins, causing liquid to leak in the tissue surrounding the busted vein.
While we have all survived a swollen part of our body. This kind of swelling might prevent you from wearing your usual pants or shoes, possibly cause discomfort, leakage of a yellow liquid and even change in the color of your skin.
According to Harvard Medical School, if left untreated, your varicose veins can cause a blood clot forming in your calf or thigh. The blood clot could break off and cause a life-threatening blockage in one of your lungs’ arteries.
The swelling seen above causes your skin to struggle from healing minor injuries. It limits nutrients from reaching the damaged skin, which restricts the healing process.
This may cause the skin to break down and reveal the flesh underneath, creating a skin ulcer.
When veins just below the skin become inflamed, redness will appear on your skin, as your leg will swell, and you will start to feel pain.
If the inflamed tissues of your leg are left untreated for too long, they will become heavy and firm. It will become more and more complicated for you to move and relax.
Who Treats Varicose Veins?
It is recommended for you to meet a specialized doctor to treat your varicose veins. A dermatologist, an expert in skin treatment can help you. Nevertheless, the ideal choice would be for you to go to a vein specialist, a phlebologist.
What Can I Do To Minimize My Chances of Having Varicose Veins?
Nothing can fully stop varicose veins, but these tips can help you avoid them as much as possible as well avoiding making them worse if you already have some.
Exercise every day. It can be any type of physical effort. The goal is to improve your blood circulation.
Reduce salt consumption. Too much salt can raise your blood pressure and provoke fluid retention.
Regulate your weight. Extra weight adds pressure on your veins.
Avoid high-heels and tight-fitted clothes. It might restrict your blood flow and make it easier for varicose veins to develop.
Avoid sitting or standing for significant periods of time. It is important to move your legs in order to increase the blood flow through the body. It can help you to set an alarm each hour as a reminder to move around for a few minutes each hour.
Elevate your legs. Lift them up above heart-level. When done several times a day, it can help reduce fluid retention and blood pooling in your legs.
Avoid smoking. Blood flow can be restricted by the nicotine that tightens your blood vessels. Smoking also raises your blood pressure, weakens the vessel walls and increases the chances of blood clots.
Which Treatment Should I choose?
The treatment that you choose will depend on what you prefer and what your doctor recommends. You have different options, such as surgery, endovenous laser, sclerotherapy (liquid or foam) or a new, non-invasive treatment called echotherapie. Discover our blog article about treatment options.
If you have doubts about having varicose veins, please ask for professional medical advice.