Facts About Varicose And Spider Veins
Veins that often look like cords and appear twisted and bulging, enlarged, swollen and raised above the surface of the skin is called a varicose vein. And veins that can be blue, red, or flesh-colored is called a spider vein.
As we age, many of us find the jagged purple lines or swollen bluish cords spreading across our thighs and calves. These warped blood vessels occur in up to 60% of adults.
Symptoms that may accompany spider and varicose veins:
1. Swollen legs, especially around the ankles
2. General soreness or leg cramping including night cramps
3. Legs that feel tired, heavy, and restless
4. Legs that have a burning, tingling or throbbing sensation
5. Itching and rash around the problem veins
What causes varicose veins and spider veins?
Healthy veins carry blood to the heart through a series of one-way valves. These valves allow blood to flow in the right direction from superficial veins to deeper veins and to the heart. The vessels are surrounded by muscles which contract and help pump blood to the heart. Normally the veins have a one-way valve to prevent backflow. However, defective valves allow blood to flow backward and pool inside the vein. As blood pools within the vein, pressure builds and the vessel wall weakens. As a result, the vein tends to bulge and twist. Depending on the size of the blood vessel and extent of swelling, the result is a spider vein or varicose vein.
Factors that increase the risk of varicose veins and spider veins:
1. As you get older, the valves in your veins may weaken and not work as well.
2. Being born with weak vein valves increases your risk. Having family members with vein problems also increases your risk.
3. Hormonal changes, Taking birth control pills and other medicines containing estrogen and progesterone also may contribute to the forming of varicose or spider veins.
5. Being overweight or obese can put extra pressure on your veins. This can lead to varicose veins.
6. Sitting or standing for a long time may force your veins to work harder to pump blood to your heart. This may be a bigger problem if you sit with your legs bent or crossed.
There are several treatments available for spider and varicose veins. The simplest treatment is to pull on a pair of support stockings. Sometimes called compression stockings, they improve circulation and relieve pain and discomfort in the legs. You can find them in knee-high or pantyhose style at surgical supply stores and some pharmacies.
The other types of treatment are:
The doctor uses a needle to inject a liquid chemical into the vein. The chemical causes the vein walls to swell, stick together, and seal shut. This stops the flow of blood, and the vein turns into scar tissue. In a few weeks, the vein should fade.
2. Surface Laser Treatments
This technique sends very strong bursts of light through the skin onto the vein. This makes the vein slowly fade and disappear.
How to prevent varicose and spider veins?
Getting plenty of exercise is the best way to ward off spider veins and varicose veins. Exercise helps keep your weight under control and your leg muscles toned, so your blood will flow freely. If your job keeps you on your feet, stretch your leg muscles often to increase circulation.