What are varicose veins? And how do you get rid of them? The two questions we sit down to answer today.
What are varicose veins?
What are varicose veins? Varicose veins are dilated blood vessels with an irregular shape and color. They can be greenish, blue or purple.
Some are also surrounded by small red capillaries, commonly known as vascular ruptures.
Both varicose veins and ruptured vessels can occur on any part of your body. However, they are most common in the leg and pelvic area.
Here are some of the most common symptoms you may experience if you have varicose veins:
- Visible blue, purple or green veins
- A heavy feeling in the legs
- Eczema or itching
Why do you get varicose veins?
Varicose veins occur when the blood accumulates in the veins. The veins have a kind of valve to make sure that the blood only flows in one direction. These valves are sometimes damaged so that the blood accumulates a bit and causes varicose veins.
Varicose veins are not dangerous, but do not look so nice.
Varicose veins are very normal. 20-60% of all people get them. No one knows why you get varicose veins. There is apparently no reason even though one may be genetically predisposed to get it. Women are also at greater risk of developing varicose veins during pregnancy.
Are varicose veins a problem? Are you going to the doctor with it?
Varicose veins are in most cases not dangerous. Only in some cases will you have to deal with it.
Your doctor may want to do an ultrasound to see how the blood is moving. Ultrasound helps them see both superficial and deep blood vessels.
Fortunately , varicose veins are mostly harmless and do not require treatment.
You should be concerned if:
- You’re in pain
- You get sores
- Your feet and ankles swell
You should see a doctor immediately if you experience any of the above symptoms.
The wounds occur because the blood does not flow freely through your blood vessels. The area is thus not oxygenated, and it can break down the skin and form wounds.
In addition, phlebitis (inflammation of the veins) and thrombosis (blood clots in the veins) can develop.
This is how the doctor can treat varicose veins
One of the most common treatments is non-surgical and is called sclerotherapy .
It consists of an injection of saline, which causes the veins to collapse. It causes the fluid accumulation to disappear, so that the flow becomes normal again.
The nearest healthy vein takes over the work of transporting blood to the heart and the problem is solved.
Sclerotherapy only works over several rounds: An average of three injections per vein.
How is the process?
Up to 40 veins can be treated in one session. Afterwards, 4-6 weeks of rest are required to heal. It is recommended to wear support socks during this time period.
Other veins can be treated during the rest period, but not the same veins.
How does it feel?
Of course, it is uncomfortable at first, due to the injection itself. Some people have side effects such as:
- Mild inflammation
Moderate exercise is recommended so that it heals faster.
With the treatment , the varicose veins disappear within 6 months and rarely come back.
Sclerotherapy does not prevent new varicose veins. It just removes those who are already there.
Are there other treatment options?
Varicose veins can also be treated in other ways. Here are some of them:
- Treatment with pulsating light. It takes 1 to 6 sessions.
- Laser treatment can be used for the small blood vessels in the face and legs.
- Ligation : This is a surgical procedure in which the veins are removed or tied.
- Radiofrequency ablation : Radiofrequency energy is used via a catheter to close the vein.
How to prevent varicose veins
No one really knows why varicose veins occur. There is no obvious reason, and therefore also nothing that certainly works if you want to prevent varicose veins. It is probably most genetically determined.
But you can still try these tips, which some find helpful:
- Avoid too much sunlight.
- Lift your legs for a few minutes before bedtime.
- Stretch if you stand up a lot.
- Wear support socks.
- Eat a balanced diet.
- Avoid alcohol and smoking.
- Be physically active at least 3 times a week for half an hour each time.
- Avoid very tight clothing.
- Do not sit with your legs crossed.
We hope you enjoyed the article. Here is a small conclusion to the two questions we asked at the beginning:
What are varicose veins? Varicose veins are dilated veins where the blood accumulates a bit.
How to get rid of it? Either at the doctor or not at all. Varicose veins are fortunately not dangerous.