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Symptoms and Prevention of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins

Varicose Vein Causes

  • Varicose veins are enlarged blue or dark purple veins above the surface of the skin. They appear twisted and are usually found on the inside of the legs or on the backside of the calves
  • Some symptoms of varicose veins: swelling of legs, skin darkening on legs, rash or fomed sores
    Some risk factors of varicose vein development: sitting/standing for a long time, being overweight, heredity, being a woman, being pregnant
    How to prevent varicose veins: avoid too much pressure on legs, eat a nutritious high-fiber diet, avoid wearing tight clothing
  • Spider veins are smaller and are located closer to the skin surface. They are red or blue in color and mostly occur on the legs but can also be found on the face. They vary in size and have shot, jagged lines that often look like a spider web

Varicose veins are veins that have become enlarged and are usually blue or dark purple in color. These veins are above the surface of the skin because the are most often swollen and bulging. They can also appear to look twisted or snake-like. Varicose veins generally appear on the inside of the legs or on the backside of the calves. Although it is not as common, they can occur anywhere on the legs from the ankle to the groin. The development of varicose veins is due to venous insufficiency. As the heart pumps the blood in the circulatory system, the arteries carry the oxygen filled blood throughout the entire body and then the veins carry the oxygen poor blood back to the heart and the cycle repeats. There are valves in the veins that have flaps that help manage the one way flow of blood preventing it to flow backwards as it moves up the leg. The valves can become inefficient or weak causing blood to leak back into the vein and pool there. As a result, the blood stays in the vein enlarging it and it becomes varicose.

Spider veins are smaller than the varicose veins, but similar as they are located closer to the skin surface. Spider veins appear red or blue in color. They mostly develop on the legs, however they also can occur on the face. Spider veins vary in their size as they can cover an area that is large or just in an area that is small. They have very short, often jagged lines that can be described as if they look like a spider web or a branch of a tree.

For some people varicose veins are just a matter of cosmetic concern. But for others varicose veins can cause quite an amount of discomfort with aching pain. Some general symptoms of varicose veins are:

• Heaviness, numbness and cramps in the legs
• The skin darkening on the legs
• Pain, burning and/or aching in the legs
• Swellings in the legs
• Irritated rash or formed sores
• Dryness and itching around the veins

According to recent research, about 50 to 55% of American women and from 40 to 45% of American men suffer from some type of vein problem. Varicose veins is the most common vein disease. It affects 1 out of 2 people that are over the age of fifty. Varicose veins treatment can be self-help measures and/or procedures done by the doctor to remove or close veins, as the varicose veins might get worse without treatment. Even though the exact cause of varicose veins is unknown, there are some risk factors which contribute to development of this problem. Some of the risk factors are:

• Sitting or standing for a long time.
• Overweight
• Low physical activity
• Smoking
• Family heredity of varicose veins
• Women have a higher risk of getting varicose veins than the men.

Pregnant women have an even higher risk of getting varicose veins. However the veins often return back to normal state within a year after childbirth. Women with multiple pregnancies may often get permanent varicose veins. While not all of the varicose veins can be prevented, there are some advices you should follow to reduce the chances of new varicose veins development. Some general preventative measures are:

•Weight control to avoid too much pressure on the legs.
• Exercises for the legs and vein strength and circulation improvement.
• Not crossing the legs while sitting.
• Elevating the legs as much as possible while resting.

• Not sitting or standing for long time periods. If sitting for a long time is necessary, standing up and moving for every 30 minutes will be useful for the circulation. If standing for a long time is necessary, shifting the weight from one leg to another every couple of minutes will help ease the pressure on the legs.
• Do not wear tight clothing that can constrict the waist, legs or groin area.
• Eat a nutritious, high fiber diet avoiding high salted foods. This includes fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains.
If you are experiencing varicose veins and spider veins, you can help yourself with some products that are sold in local pharmacies. However, if you are having pain and limited mobility, it is important to seek the advice of a doctor who specializes in the treatment of varicose veins and vein disease. There are many options that may benefit you like sclerotherapy veins treatment and your doctor can help you choose which treatment may work best for you.

The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.

2 Responses to “Symptoms and Prevention of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins”

  1. 1
    Rachel Says:
    Oh, I have to say that I never, ever saw Varicose veins or spider veins until I read this article. I didn't really think about it and now I am noticing my own spider veins, help!
  2. 2
    annette armour Says:
    hello i am feeling frustated w my legs spride vein it just begin pain like pinch i need feel free no pain pinch my legs spride vein i am seek at pharmcy for help for my legs keep reduce avoid worse spride vein come on again . pls email me