Varicose Veins - Medx Health Assistance
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Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are swollen, twisted, and enlarged veins that can appear anywhere in the body but often develop on the legs and feet. The Varicosed veins rarely need treatment for health reasons, but if aching, swelling, and painful legs result, treatment is available if there is considerable discomfort.
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Overview

  • Varicose veins are swollen, twisted, and enlarged veins that can appear anywhere in the body but often develop on the legs and feet. 
  • Varicose vein happens when the valves in the veins do not work correctly, so the blood does not flow adequately.
  • The Varicosed veins rarely need treatment for health reasons, but if aching, swelling, and painful legs result, treatment is available if there is considerable discomfort.
  • Varicose veins are simply a cosmetic concern for many patients, but sometimes varicose veins lead to more severe problems that need treatment.
  • In severe cases, a varicose vein may rupture or develop into varicose ulcers on the skin. These will require urgent treatment.

Causes of Varicose veins may include:

  • It can be caused due to increased blood pressure in the veins.
  • The blood moves towards the heart with the help of one-way valves in the veins. When the valves become damaged or weakened, blood can collect in the veins. It causes the veins to become enlarged. 
  • Sitting, standing, or walking for long periods can begin blood to pool in the leg veins, increasing the pressure within the veins. The veins can stretch from the developed pressure. It may weaken the walls of the veins and damage the valves.

Risk factors that may increase pressure may include:

  • Overweight or Obesity
  • Older age
  • Being female
  • Being inactive
  • Pregnancy
  • Leg injury
  • Smoking
  • Taking oral contraceptive pills or hormone replacement
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) – DVT is a severe disease with blood clots in the deep veins. This condition does not normally happen with varicose veins. However, with painful varicose veins, there is a slight chance of developing blood clots in the deep veins. Blood clots need medical care right away. 
  • Pulmonary Embolism – A piece of a blood clot may break off and travel to the lungs, known as pulmonary embolism. A blood clot in the lungs is severe and may cause death.
    Symptoms of pulmonary embolism may include trouble breathing, chest pain, coughing (may cough up blood), a fast heartbeat, sweating, and fainting. 

Symptoms

In many cases, there is no pain in the varicose vein. Signs and symptoms differ from person to person. 

Some common signs and symptoms may include:

  • Colour changes in the skin (the veins are blue or dark purple)
  • Rash
  • Sores on the legs
  • Sensations in the legs, such as a burning or aching
  • Veins look twisted, swollen, and lumpy (bulging)

Some patients may also experience severe signs and symptoms, which may include:

  • Aching legs
  • Heavy feeling in legs (especially after doing exercise or at night)
  • Lipodermatosclerosis- Fat under the skin just above the ankle can become hard, resulting in the skin shrinking
  • Swollen ankles
  • A slight injury to the affected area may result in extra extended bleeding than normal.
  • Telangiectasia in the affected leg (Spider Veins)
  • There may be a shiny skin discolouration near the varicose veins (usually brownish or blue)
  • Venous Eczema (Stasis Dermatitis)- A condition in which skin in the affected area gets dry, red, and itchy
  • A high percentage of patients with varicose veins also have restless legs syndrome
  • When abruptly standing up, some individuals experience leg cramps
  • Atrophie Blanche- irregular whitish patches that look like scars appear at the ankles

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