What are varicose veins?

The varicose veins, also identified as varicosities or varicose, are enlarged, twisted veins closer to the skin’s surface. Individuals can experience varicose veins mostly in their legs because walking and standing for a more extended period can increase the load in the veins of an individual’s lower body. Most individuals refer to the varicose veins as spider veins. The varicose vein is primarily found in women; twenty-five percent of adults are diagnosed with varicose veins. Moreover, varicose veins are a cosmetic problem for most individuals; for others, they may be painful. 

What are the possible causes of varicose veins?

As the varicose veins are primarily found in the lower body, the muscle contraction in the lower legs acts as pumps, and the flexible vein walls aid the blood returning to the heart. The veins have one-way valves that stop the blood from streaming backward, and when these valves fail, the blood starts to gather in the veins rather than continuing toward the individual’s heart. As the blood begins to collect in the veins of an individual, the vein then enlarges. Following are the causes of varicose veins:

  • Aging.
  • Obesity.
  • Family background of various veins.
  • Standing for a long time.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Menopause.

What are the indications of varicose veins?

In some people, varicose veins may not cause pain but for some can also be painful. The symptoms of varicose veins contain veins that are blue or shady purple. Moreover, veins are viewed as bulging and twisted, often like cords on the legs. When the varicose veins become painful, the symptoms might include the following:

  • Itching around the veins.
  • Heavy or achy feeling in the legs.
  • Changes in skin color surrounding the varicose vein. 
  • Throbbing, swelling, burning, and muscle cramping in the lower legs. 
  • Severe or worsened discomfort after standing or sitting for extended periods.

When to visit the doctor?

Individuals concerned about the look of their vein and if they encounter severe pain in the varicose vein are advised to visit the health care advisor. 

How to diagnose varicose veins?

After visiting the healthcare advisor, the consultant will study the patient’s legs and veins while the individual is standing or sitting. During the examination, the healthcare advisor can question the patient about the symptoms and pain that they may be experiencing over time. 

Furthermore, he can advise the patient for an ultrasound to view the blood transformation. There may be a need to conduct a venogram according to the patient’s condition to have access to their veins. During the examination, the healthcare advisor will inject a special dye into the patient’s legs and takes an X-ray. With the help of the dye, the consultant could view the blood streaming in the patient’s veins. 

What are the possible risk factors for varicose veins?

Some of the risk factors for varicose veins are mentioned below:

  • Being overweight can raise the pressure on the veins of an individual.
  • Sitting or standing for a more expand period without movement can increase the risk of varicose veins.
  • In some cases, during the pregnancy period, the amount of blood in the anatomy increases. Increased blood volume will support the infant’s growth but can also lead to enlarged leg veins.
  • Aging can also lead to a tear and wear on the valves in the veins that aid in controlling the blood flow. 
  • According to gender, most women are likely to grow varicose veins. The hormonal fluctuations earlier in the menstrual period or menopause, or during pregnancy might be because female hormones manage to relax the vein walls. Furthermore, hormone treatments, like birth control pills, may increase the risk of varicose veins. 


What are the possible complications of varicose veins?

Following are the possible complications of varicose veins:

  • The veins deep within the legs can become inflamed and might cause swelling and discomfort. This puffiness and pain in the legs can cause blood clots. 
  • A painful ulcer can form on the skin near the varicose veins, mainly near the ankles. A discolored spot on the skin typically starts before the ulcer forming. It is advised to visit the healthcare advisor if there is a visible development of an ulcer in the leg. 
  • The veins close to the skin are more likely to burst, leading to minor bleeding. Although the bleeding is minor, it requires medical attention. 

The possible treatments for varicose veins:

The healthcare advisors are conservative when treating varicose veins. The healthcare advisor is most likely to advise some changes in the lifestyle of the patient rather than suggesting more aggressive treatments.

Lifestyle changes:

Some of the following lifestyle changes can aid the preventing varicose veins:

  • Exercising and maintaining a healthy body weight can help prevent varicose veins in an individual.
  • Including workouts in their daily lifestyle can lead to better blood circulation, reducing the chances of varicose veins. 
  • Avoid sitting and standing for a longer time.
  • Utilizing stockings or compression socks. The compressions put enough pressure on the patient’s legs so the blood can circulate properly to the heart. 


Even after making amendments to the patient’s lifestyle, they should reach out to their consultant if they still encounter pain and discomfort. The healthcare advisor will study the patient’s conditions, and then they may try an invasive procedure. 

The consultant might advise stripping and vein ligation, a surgical treatment that needs anesthesia. In this procedure, the consultant will cut the patient’s skin, cut the varicose vein, and eliminate it by incisions. 


Other treatment options can include the following:

  • Microsclerotherapy is a treatment that uses a liquid chemical that is inserted  to block off smaller veins.s  
  • Sclerotherapy uses a foam chemical or liquid dose to block off a more prominent vein.
  • Laser surgery includes the use of light energy to block off a vein.
  • The endoscopic vein operation includes a small lighted scope injected by a small incision to block off a vein.
  • Endovenous ablation therapy includes radiofrequency and warmth waves to block off the vein. 


  • https://www.healthline.com/health/varicose-veins#outlookretrieved on 24 Sep. 22
  • https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/varicose-veins/symptoms-causes/syc-20350643retrieved on 24 Sep. 22

https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/varicose-veins#:~:text=Varicose%20veins%20are%20a%20common,This%20is%20called%20reflux. Retrieved on 24 Sep. 22