What Are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are swollen, twisted veins that you can see just under the surface of the skin. These veins usually occur in the legs, but they also can form in other parts of the body. Varicose veins are a common condition. They usually cause few signs and symptoms. Sometimes varicose veins cause mild to moderate pain, blood clots, skin ulcers (sores), or other problems.

Overview
Veins are blood vessels that carry blood from your body's tissues to your heart. 
Your heart pumps the blood to your lungs to pick up oxygen. The oxygen-rich blood then is pumped to your body through blood vessels called arteries.
From your arteries, the blood flows through tiny blood vessels called capillaries, where it gives up its oxygen to the body's tissues. 
Your blood then returns to your heart through your veins to pick up more oxygen. 
Veins have one-way valves that help keep blood flowing toward your heart. If the valves are weak or damaged, blood can back up and pool in your veins. 
This causes the veins to swell, which can lead to varicose veins.
Many factors can raise your risk for varicose veins. Examples of these factors include family history, older age, gender, pregnancy,overweight or obesity, lack of movement, and leg trauma.
Varicose veins are treated with lifestyle changes and medical procedures. 
The goals of treatment are to relieve symptoms, prevent complications, and improve appearance.

Outlook
Varicose veins usually don't cause medical problems. 
If they do, your doctor may simply suggest making lifestyle changes.
Sometimes varicose veins cause pain, blood clots, skin ulcers, or other problems. 
If this happens, your doctor may recommend one or more medical procedures. Some people choose to have these procedures to improve the way their veins look or to relieve pain.Many treatments for varicose veins are quick and easy and don't require a long recovery.
Many vein problems are related to varicose veins, such as telangiectasias, spider veins, varicoceles, and other vein problems.

Telangiectasias
Telangiectasias are small clusters of blood vessels. 
They're usually found on the upper body, including the face. These blood vessels appear red. 
They may form during pregnancy, and often they develop in people who have certain genetic disorders, viral infections, or other conditions, such as liver disease.
Because telangiectasias can be a sign of a more serious condition, see your doctor if you think you have them.

Spider Veins
Spider veins are a smaller version of varicose veins and a less serious type of telangiectasias.
Spider veins involve the capillaries, the smallest blood vessels in the body.
Spider veins often appear on the legs and face. 
They're red or blue and usually look like a spider web or tree branch. These veins usually aren't a medical concern.

Varicoceles
Varicoceles are varicose veins in the scrotum (the skin over the testicles).
Varicoceles may be linked to male infertility. If you think you have varicoceles, see your doctor.
Other Related Vein Problems Other types of varicose veins include venous lakes, reticular veins, and hemorrhoids.
Venous lakes are varicose veins that appear on the face and neck. 
Reticular veins are flat blue veins often seen behind the knees. 
Hemorrhoids are varicose veins in and around the anus.
What Causes Varicose Veins?
Weak or damaged valves in the veins can cause varicose veins. After your arteries and capillaries deliver oxygen-rich blood to your body, your veins return the blood to your heart. The veins in your legs must work against gravity to do this.

One-way valves inside the veins open to let blood flow through, and then they shut to keep blood from flowing backward. If the valves are weak or damaged, blood can back up and pool in your veins. This causes the veins to swell.

Weak vein walls may cause weak valves. Normally, the walls of the veins are elastic (stretchy). If these walls become weak, they lose their normal elasticity. They become like an overstretched rubber band. This makes the walls of the veins longer and wider, and it causes the flaps of the valves to separate.

When the valve flaps separate, blood can flow backward through the valves. The backflow of blood fills the veins and stretches the walls even more. As a result, the veins get bigger, swell, and often twist as they try to squeeze into their normal space. These are varicose veins.

Who Is at Risk for Varicose Veins?
Many factors may raise your risk for varicose veins, including family history, older age, gender, pregnancy, overweight or obesity, lack of movement, and leg trauma.
Family History Having family members who have varicose veins may raise your risk for the condition. About half of all people who have varicose veins have a family history of them.
Older Age Getting older may raise your risk for varicose veins. The normal wear and tear of aging may cause the valves in your veins to weaken and not work well.
Gender Women tend to get varicose veins more often than men. Hormonal changes that occur during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause (or with the use of birth control pills) may raise a woman's risk for varicose veins.
Pregnancy During pregnancy, the growing fetus puts pressure on the veins in the mother's legs. Varicose veins that occur during pregnancy usually get better within 3 to 12 months of delivery.
Overweight or Obesity Being overweight or obese can put extra pressure on your veins. This can lead to varicose veins. For more information about overweight and obesity, go to the Health Topics Overweight and Obesity article.
Lack of Movement Standing or sitting for a long time, especially with your legs bent or crossed, may raise your risk for varicose veins. This is because staying in one position for a long time may force your veins to work harder to pump blood to your heart.
Leg Trauma Previous blood clots or traumatic damage to the valves in your veins can weaken their ability to move blood back to the heart, increasing the risk for varicose veins.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Varicose Veins?
The signs and symptoms of varicose veins include:
Large veins that you can see just under the surface of your skin. Mild swelling of your ankles and feet.
Painful, achy, or "heavy" legs.
Throbbing or cramping in your legs.
Itchy legs, especially on the lower leg and ankle. Sometimes this symptom is incorrectly diagnosed as dry skin.
Discolored skin in the area around the varicose vein.
Signs of telangiectasias are clusters of red veins that you can see just under the surface of your skin. These clusters usually are found on the upper body, including the face. Signs of spider veins are red or blue veins in a web or tree branch pattern. Often, these veins appear on the legs and face.
See your doctor if you have these signs and symptoms. They also may be signs of other, more serious conditions.

Complications of Varicose Veins Varicose veins can lead to dermatitis, an itchy rash. If you have varicose veins in your legs, dermatitis may affect your lower leg or ankle. Dermatitis can cause bleeding or skin ulcers if the skin is scratched or irritated. Varicose veins also can lead to a condition called superficial thrombophlebitis. Thrombophlebitis is a blood clot in a vein. Superficial thrombophlebitis means that the blood clot occurs in a vein close to the surface of the skin. This type of blood clot may cause pain and other problems in the affected area.
Living With Varicose Veins
Varicose veins are a common condition. They often cause few signs and symptoms. If your signs and symptoms are minor, your doctor may simply suggest making lifestyle changes.
If your condition is more severe—for example, if you have pain, blood clots, or skin ulcers we recommend treatments for varicose veins are quick and easy and don't require a long recovery.
For more information about lifestyle changes and medical treatment(Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Alternative Medicine & Physiotherapy) come to AROGYDEEP POLYCLINIC & LASER CENTER. +91 81405 70004