varicose veins

Varicose veins

Varicose veins introduction

Varicose veins are a common medical disorder that causes leg veins to grow and twist. When vein valves weaken or break, blood pools and bulges.

Blue or purple veins might protrude from the skin. Varicose veins may cause pain, heaviness, swelling, cramps, and itching. They may cause skin ulcers or blood clots.

Varicose veins have several causes. These include age, heredity, hormonal changes (such as during pregnancy or menopause), obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and extended standing or sitting.

Varicose veins may cause pain and lower quality of life, although they’re mostly aesthetic. Symptoms and severity determine treatment choices. Exercise, leg elevation, and compression stockings may reduce discomfort. Sclerotherapy, laser treatment, or surgery may be needed to remove or seal problematic veins.

If you suspect varicose veins, see a doctor for a diagnosis and treatment. They may provide personalised advise and suggest the best treatments for the illness.


Varicose veins are caused by weak vein walls and valves. Several causes may produce these structural anomalies. Common varicose vein causes and risk factors include:

Age increases varicose vein risk. Veins weaken and twist as we age.

Genetics: Varicose veins are more likely in families. Varicose veins run in families.

Varicose veins are more common in women. Puberty, pregnancy, and menopause hormones weaken vein walls and dilate them. Hormonal contraceptives and HRT may further raise risk.

Pregnancy: Hormonal changes loosen vein walls and increase blood volume, causing varicose veins. These improve after delivery but may worsen with future pregnancies.

Obesity: Extra strain on veins makes them more prone to injury and enlargement. Poor circulation from obesity may worsen varicose veins.

Prolonged Sitting or Standing: Jobs or lifestyles that require lengthy periods of sitting or standing without activity may affect blood circulation, causing blood to pool in the legs and increase varicose vein risk.

Lack of Exercise: Exercise improves blood circulation. Poor circulation and varicose veins may result from inactivity.

Other Factors: Leg injuries, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and abdominal pressure-increasing diseases such persistent constipation or tumours may cause varicose veins.

These risk factors do not ensure varicose veins. Varicose veins may occur without a known reason.


Varicose veins may produce several symptoms, although not all of them. Symptoms vary in intensity. Varicose vein symptoms:

Visible and Enlarged Veins: Varicose veins are twisted, bulging, dark blue or purple veins. They seem elevated or swollen just under the skin.

Varicose veins can cause leg discomfort and soreness. After standing or sitting, this dull, throbbing, or heavy feeling might intensify.

Varicose veins can cause ankle and lower leg swelling. Poor blood circulation and venous pressure cause fluid buildup.

Leg Cramps: Varicose veins may cause leg cramps, involuntary muscular spasms. Nighttime cramps are painful.

Varicose veins may cause itching and discomfort. Inflammation and blood pooling cause this symptom.

Varicose veins may transform skin over time. Dry, discoloured skin may develop rashes or dermatitis. Open sores or ulcers may occur in extreme situations.

Restless Legs Syndrome: RLS causes an uncontrolled need to move the legs, frequently with painful feelings like creeping or tingling. Varicose veins may be linked to RLS.

Varicose veins vary in severity, and some people have no symptoms. If you have any of these symptoms and suspect varicose veins, see a doctor for a diagnosis and treatment.


Varicose veins are diagnosed by medical history, physical examination, and sometimes further testing. Varicose vein diagnostics:

Medical History: Your doctor will inquire about your symptoms, duration, and varicose vein family history. They may ask about any medical illnesses or risk factors for varicose veins.

Physical Examination: The afflicted region will be thoroughly examined. Your doctor will examine the veins for size, appearance, irritation, and skin changes. They may also ask you to shift or position to evaluate blood flow and symptoms.

Varicose vein evaluations often involve duplex ultrasound. It uses ultrasonography and Doppler to visualise vein anatomy and blood flow. This non-invasive test detects vein damage and valve function.

Venogram: A venogram may give additional venous system information. X-rays are obtained after injecting a contrast dye into the veins.

These tests usually confirm varicose veins and decide therapy. If issues are suspected or to guide therapy, further imaging tests or specialised exams may be suggested.

For a proper diagnosis and treatment plan, visit a vascular expert or phlebologist.


Location and features classify varicose veins. Common varicose veins include:

Great Saphenous Vein Varicose Veins: One of the longest veins in the body, the great saphenous vein runs down the inner of the leg. Varicose veins commonly bulge and twist from the groyne to the ankle.

Small Saphenous Vein Varicose Veins: This vein runs from the calf to the knee at the back of the leg. Varicose veins in this vein might look and feel like great saphenous vein varicosities.

Reticular Veins: Feeder veins are tiny veins that appear as blue or green networks under the skin. They may cause bigger varicose veins.

Spider veins (telangiectasias) are tiny, dilated blood vessels near the skin’s surface. Red, blue, or purple, they look like spider webs or tree branches. Spider veins are cosmetically bothersome but smaller than varicose veins.

Pelvic varicose veins are common in women. During menstruation and pregnancy, pelvic varicose veins may cause pain, weight, and discomfort.

Varicose veins may vary in degree and combination. Some people have spider and varicose veins. Healthcare providers may prescribe therapy based on varicose vein type.

Consult a doctor if you suspect varicose veins or have particular vein-related symptoms. They can diagnose and treat varicose veins.


Varicose vein therapy alleviates symptoms, improves vein appearance, and prevents complications. Varicose veins’ severity and symptoms determine therapy. Varicose vein treatments include:

Lifestyle changes may control and prevent varicose veins. These include regular exercise, a healthy weight, avoiding extended standing or sitting, elevating the legs while resting, and using compression stockings to enhance circulation.

Sclerotherapy: This minimally invasive method treats spider and smaller varicose veins. Injected solution collapses and fades damaged veins. Multiple sessions may improve outcomes.

Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA): Laser energy heats and closes damaged veins. Laser fibres heat the vein, collapsing and sealing it. EVLA is successful and usually done under local anaesthesia.

Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA): Similar to EVLA, RFA heats and closes varicose veins using radiofrequency radiation instead of laser energy.

Vein Stripping and Ligation: More severe instances may need vein stripping and ligation. Small incisions remove or tie up problematic veins. Vein stripping requires general anaesthesia, whereas ligation requires local.

Ambulatory phlebectomy removes superficial varicose veins with small incisions. The outpatient procedure involves local anaesthesia.

Endoscopic Vein Surgery: This rare operation treats severe leg varicose veins. It removes varicose veins using an endoscope.

Varicose vein size, location, symptoms, health, and personal preferences determine therapy. A vascular specialist or phlebologist may diagnose and propose therapy for vein diseases.

Lifestyle adjustments and compression stockings may also help control symptoms and avoid varicose veins.


Varicose veins cannot be prevented, however you may lessen their risk and advancement. Preventive strategies and lifestyle modifications include:

Exercise regularly to improve blood circulation and vein support. Walking, running, cycling, swimming, and other low-impact workouts help.

Maintain a Healthy Weight: Excess weight may cause varicose veins. Eat well and exercise to stay slim.

Take breaks and prevent prolonged sitting or standing. To promote blood flow, walk and stretch your legs often if your work entails long periods of sitting or standing.

Leg Elevation: When sitting or standing for lengthy durations, elevate your legs. Elevating legs above the heart reduces edoema and improves circulation.

Crossing legs restricts blood flow and causes poor circulation. Sit with uncrossed legs.

Wear Compression Stockings: If you have a family history of varicose veins or often feel leg swelling or pain, wear compression stockings. Compression stockings assist veins and blood flow.

Avoid tight clothes, especially around the waist, groyne, and legs. Varicose veins may result from tight clothes.

Take Regular rests: If your profession demands extended periods of sitting or standing, take regular rests to stretch your legs. Ankle flexing and calf stretches improve blood circulation.

Eat a balanced diet with fibre, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Healthy eating helps preserve weight and cardiovascular health.

High heels may strain calf muscles and impair blood flow.

These techniques may not prevent varicose veins, but they may minimise risk and manage symptoms. If you have a family history of varicose veins or other risk factors, see a doctor for preventative and early detection guidance.


Varicose vein therapy seldom involves medication. Some drugs might manage symptoms or supplement other treatments. Varicose vein medicines include these:

Over-the-counter NSAIDs like ibuprofen and naproxen may alleviate varicose vein discomfort and irritation. They provide short-term symptomatic relief but do not treat venous issues.

Topical Creams or Gels: Horse chestnut seed extract, witch hazel, and menthol may temporarily relieve varicose vein discomfort, swelling, and irritation.

Phlebotonics enhance vascular tone and alleviate varicose vein symptoms. They enhance blood flow and vein walls. Diosmin, hesperidin, and troxerutin are common phlebotonics.

Anticoagulants: If varicose veins raise the risk of blood clots, blood thinners may be administered. These drugs prevent clots and DVT. Varicose veins are seldom treated with anticoagulants.

Medication alone seldom treats varicose veins. They may treat symptoms alone or with lifestyle adjustments, compression stockings, or minimally invasive treatments. Sclerotherapy, laser treatment, or surgery may be advised for severe varicose veins.

Consult a doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment. Based on your medical history and circumstances, they may recommend the best treatment choices and drug usage.

Risk factors

Varicose veins have many risk factors. Knowing risk variables may help us understand propensity. Common varicose vein risk factors:

Age increases varicose vein risk. Veins lose flexibility and valves deteriorate with age, causing varicose veins and poor blood flow.

Varicose veins are more common in women. Puberty, pregnancy, menopause, and hormonal birth control raise the risk. Female hormones loosen vein walls, causing dilatation and valve malfunction.

Varicose veins run in families. Varicose veins are inherited, so having one or both parents with them increases your risk.

Pregnancy: The expanding uterus exerts strain on leg and pelvic veins. Pregnancy hormones also dilate veins. Varicose veins from pregnancy usually improve after delivery but may worsen with future pregnancies.

Obesity and a sedentary lifestyle may cause varicose veins. Overweight and inactivity may strain veins and impair blood circulation.

Prolonged Standing or Sitting: Poor blood circulation and vein pressure may cause varicose veins.

Previous blood clots, such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), increase the likelihood of varicose veins.

Other Medical Conditions: Chronic venous insufficiency might raise varicose vein risk. Chronic constipation or liver illness may raise abdominal pressure and cause them.

These risk factors don’t ensure varicose veins, but they enhance the possibility. Preventing and managing varicose veins requires a healthy lifestyle. See a doctor if you have symptoms or questions about your risk factors.


Certainly! Varicose vein FAQs:

Varicose veins simply cosmetic?
Varicose veins are more than aesthetic. The unattractive twisted and bulging veins may cause discomfort, heaviness, swelling, itching, and leg cramps. Varicose veins may cause ulcers or blood clots.

Are varicose veins self-limiting?
Varicose veins seldom heal themselves. Without therapy, strained and injured vein walls will not recover. Lifestyle adjustments, compression stockings, and certain treatments may improve varicose vein symptoms and appearance.

Can exercising worsen varicose veins?
Walking and swimming are good for varicose veins. Exercise improves blood circulation and develops vein-supporting muscles. However, high-impact sports like weightlifting might worsen varicose veins. Consult a doctor for exercise advice.

Preventing varicose veins?
Varicose veins cannot be prevented, however lifestyle modifications and preventative interventions may minimise their risk and advancement. These include regular exercise, a healthy weight, avoiding extended sitting or standing, using compression stockings, and elevating the legs while resting. These habits may improve circulation and prevent varicose veins.

Non-surgical varicose vein treatments?
Varicose veins have non-surgical treatments. Sclerotherapy, EVLA, RFA, and ambulatory phlebectomy are examples. Minimally invasive outpatient treatments provide little or no downtime.

Varicose veins—a warning sign?
Varicose veins seldom indicate a severe problem. However, chronic venous insufficiency, when the veins have trouble delivering blood from the legs to the heart, might cause them. If your varicose veins are bothering you or affecting your everyday life, see a doctor.

Remember, a healthcare expert can evaluate, diagnose, and give personalised varicose vein guidance.

Myth vs fact

Certainly! Varicose vein myths and facts:

Myth: Only elderly persons acquire varicose veins.
Varicose veins may arise at any age. Younger people may develop varicose veins due to hormones, heredity, pregnancy, and lifestyle.

Myth: Crossing legs promotes varicose veins.
Crossing legs does not create varicose veins. Restricting blood flow and raising vein pressure might worsen vein issues. Avoid leg crossing for good circulation.

Myth: Only women develop varicose veins.
Men may have varicose veins too. Men with family history, obesity, or extended standing might develop varicose veins.

Myth: Varicose veins are aesthetic.
Varicose veins are not aesthetic. Pain, swelling, itching, and discomfort might result. Varicose veins may cause ulcers or blood clots. Treating symptoms may prevent problems.

Myth: Varicose veins are totally curable.
Fact: Treatment can control varicose veins and alleviate symptoms, but it cannot cure them. Symptoms, appearance, and consequences are treated. Varicose veins may need lifestyle changes and regular follow-up.

Myth: Varicose veins necessitate surgery.
Varicose vein surgery is not usually recommended. Sclerotherapy, laser ablation, and radiofrequency ablation are non-surgical, minimally invasive treatments. Varicose vein severity and features determine therapy.

Consult a doctor to learn about varicose veins and discuss the best treatment options for your disease.


Sure! Varicose vein terms:

Varicose veins are visible, twisted veins on the legs. When vein valves fail, blood pools and swells the veins.

Spider veins (telangiectasias) are tiny, dilated blood vessels near the skin. They are thin, red, or blue threads that branch out like spiderwebs. Spider veins are smaller than varicose veins and closer to the skin.

Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI): The veins have trouble returning blood from the legs to the heart. Damaged vein valves cause poor blood circulation, edoema, and varicose veins.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT): DVT is a leg blood clot. It causes discomfort, swelling, and redness. Pulmonary embolism may result from a deep vein blood clot that spreads to the lungs.

Gradient compression stockings are firmer at the ankles and relax up the leg. Squeezing the legs and veins improves blood circulation and reduces varicose vein irritation.

Sclerotherapy for varicose and spider veins is minimally invasive. Sclerosant is injected directly into damaged veins to collapse and fade them over time. Outpatient sclerotherapy is utilised for smaller veins.

Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA): This minimally invasive therapy treats bigger varicose veins. It includes introducing a laser fibre into the vein and heating and sealing it using laser light to shut it.

Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA): Similar to EVLA, radiofrequency ablation heats and closes varicose veins using radiofrequency radiation instead of laser energy. It uses a catheter to heat and seal the vein using controlled radiofrequency radiation.

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