Varicose veins are twisted and enlarged veins found near the surface of the skin and common in the legs and ankles. They can cause some other health issues that you should be familiar with.
Varicose veins are caused by weakened valves and veins found in the legs and one way valves in the veins that keeps blood flowing from the legs going toward the heart. When these valves do not work properly, it will cause the build-up of blood and pressure in the legs and the veins will be weakened, thus becoming large and twisted.
Causes of varicose veins
- There is damage to the veins found in the legs
- Increased pressure in the veins of the legs
- Venous insufficiency, like varicose veins runs in the family, a individual might have faulty valves or weakened vein walls. Women are more susceptible to varicose veins than in men and it develops during pregnancy.
- Blood clots or obstruction found in the deep veins
- Damage to the deep veins and anomalous blood vessels found between the veins and arteries.
Symptoms of varicose veins
- There is mild swelling, usually in the feet and ankles
- A dull pain, burning or weight on the legs and is noticed later in the day or after standing or sitting for an extended period.
- Itchy skin can felt over the location of the varicose vein.
- Severe swelling and pain in the calf after standing or sitting for a long time
- Swelling and build-up of fluid in the leg
- Colour of the skin changes or stasis pigmentation around the ankles and the lower legs and the skin is dry, stretched, swelling, itching and scaling.
- A blood clot and inflammation will occur in a small vein near the surface of the skin or also known as superficial thrombophlebitis.
- There are ulceration or open wounds
- There is bruising and bleeding after a minor injury
Symptoms become more severe a few days before and during a women’s menstrual period.
Some factors that can increase the risk of having varicose veins include the following:
- Being female with repeated pregnancies and advancing age.
- Having a family history of varicose veins
- An overweight woman which is a strong factor in women.
- Long periods of standing or sitting
- Blood clots and vein injuries
Treatment and home remedies
- Do some exercises and maintaining a healthy weight
- Wear compression stockings
- Avoid long periods of standing and sitting
- Elevate the legs when sitting
After an injury such as bruising or bleeding when scratched or cutting a skin over a larger vein, small clots will form and can be treated with the following:
- If the skin is cut or scratched over a vein, elevate the leg and apply ice or ice compress to minimize the bleeding. You can learn more about bleeding control by enrolling in a first aid class
- Apply firm pressure using a clean bandage over the affected area for 15 minutes and if there is still bleeding, you have to apply pressure again for another 15 minutes.