Varicose Veins: What You Should Know

Varicose veins are unnaturally swollen veins underneath the skin. You will most often see them in different parts of legs, however they can appear anywhere and they are usually large enough to see.

Varicose veins are a result of poor blood circulation: Instead of flowing normally, your blood pools in odd places in your body due to having faulty veins.

Normally your veins are a one-way route for your blood to flow. Your veins have a sequence of valves that ensure your blood keeps moving and does not get backed up. The pooling occurs when those valves become clogged or unable to stop blood flow going in the reverse direction.

Although varicose veins are generally harmless, however they can be a sign for other health issues. People who are overweight, pregnant, stand for long periods of time throughout the day, have had certain types of injuries, and those who do not lead physically active lifestyles are all at risk of being affected by varicose veins. Additionally, women are 50% more likely to develop varicose veins than men.

Unfortunately, varicose veins can’t be cured, but they can be treated. In the past, the popular method was vein stripping, where you have the affected veins removed. Vein stripping is very painful and there are better alternatives today where your doctor can help you temporarily treat the swelling or selectively treat veins as needed.

One simple way to help prevent or reduce the severity of varicose vein formation is to exercise! Keep yourself moving about regularly and to sit with good posture to encourage healthy blood circulation.

If you already have varicose veins you can consider wearing compression socks and work on keeping your legs (or the affected area) raised. If you experience pain or open sores with varicose veins you should speak with your doctor about it.

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