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Varicose veins are enlarged veins which are tortuous. They are formed due to weak and damaged valves which doesnâ€™t let the blood to reach the heart. These veins are mostly found in the legs. They are swollen and they look twisted which can be seen on the surface of the skin. They can also be found in other parts of the body. This is a common condition which is not harmful; sometimes it causes pain, blood clots and skin ulcers. Usually the doctor recommends some medical help if the condition is very severe but it actually heals and gets cured by itself. It may be seen more in people who are old and in people with a family history of having varicose veins. This may also be affected due to overweight and pregnancy.
- Aching, heavy legs
- Appearance of spider veins in the affected leg
- Ankle swelling
- A brownish-yellow shiny skin discoloration near the affected veins.
- Redness, dryness, and itchiness of areas of skin
- Whitened, irregular scar like patches
Treatments: Varicose veins can be treated mostly with:
- Some lifestyle changes
- Medical Procedures
Changes in Lifestyle
The first measure to treat varicose vein is by making lifestyle changes. The changes may reduce the pain, swelling, and also delay the formation of varicose veins.
- Do not stand or sit for a long time, take a break and walk for a while. Do not cross your legs when sitting. While you sit, rest or sleep make sure that the legs are raised.
- Doing some physical activities will make the muscles of the legs to be toned and it helps in blood circulation.
- Try to lose weight if you are obese or overweight and this will make it easy for the blood to flow properly.
- Do not wear tight clothes especially clothes that are tight around your waist, upper thighs and groin as these will make the varicose veins worse.
- Toning of muscles is very important, do not wear high heels as low heeled shoes will help to tone muscles.
- There are compression stockings available that may be recommended by your doctor. The stockings have a soft and gentle pressure on the legs. This pressure will help to reduce the pooling of blood and reduces swelling in the legs.
- Compression stockings are of three types. First type is support pantyhose. They provide the least amount of pressure. Another type is over-the-counter compression hose. They provide more pressure than the support pantyhose. Over-the-counter compression hose can be bought in medical supply stores and pharmacies.
- The third type is Prescription-strength compression hose stockings. These stockings provide the maximum amount of pressure. They also can be bought in medical supply stores and pharmacies.
The Medical Procedures
This is done only at a very advanced stage where the varicose veins canâ€™t be treated with lifestyle changes. They are done to remove or close the varicose veins. There will be no harm in removing and closing the varicose veins as there is no interruption in the blood flow. The blood starts flowing from other veins. The doctor may suggest one or more procedures listed below. After the procedure slight pain, bruising, discoloration or swelling may occur.
Medical Procedures are:
- Laser Surgery
- Endovenous Ablation Therapy
- Endoscopic Vein Surgery
- Ambulatory Phlebectomy
- Vein Stripping and Ligation
The treatments are meant to improve the appearance and to relieve the symptoms while preventing any complications.