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Varicose Veins

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Varicose Veins

What are Varicose veins?

Varicose veins are enlarged, twisted, painful superficial veins resulting from poorly functioning valves. Varicose veins are common. They mostly affect women. Varicose veins are also called varicosity and varicosis.

In severe cases, varicose veins can lead to skin changes resulting in eczema, pigmentation, and ulceration or bleeding.

Varicose veins can be aggravated by: pregnancy, menopause, obesity, aging of the tissues, and the use of birth control pills and hormonal therapy.

What Causes Varicose Veins?

In normal veins, valves in the vein keep blood moving forward toward the heart. With varicose veins, the valves do not function properly, allowing blood to remain in the vein. When the blood remains in the vein, the vein enlarges.

The most common causes of varicose veins are: defective valves, thrombophlebitis, and pregnancy. Prolonged standing and increased pressure within the abdomen may increase the risk of developing varicose veins or worsen the veins if they are already varicose.

Symptoms of Varicose Veins

Some of the symptoms are:

  • Pain in the legs: fullness, heaviness, aching
  • Visible, enlarged veins
  • Mild swelling of ankles
  • Bulging veins
  • Veins that have a rope-like appearance
  • Skin at the ankle discolored brown
  • Skin ulcers near the ankle

Can Varicose Veins be Prevented?

You can reduce your risk of developing varicose veins. The most common ways to avoid varicose veins is to avoid prolonged standing.

 

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