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Varicose Veins Symptoms and Treatment

written by: futuremet • edited by: Emma Lloyd • updated: 10/1/2010

Learn more about varicose veins including symptoms, treatment and prevention.

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    Varicose veins are unusually enlarged veins that are swollen and extend over the skin's surface. Varicose veins are usually found in the legs and feet. This is primarily because standing upright increases pressure on the lower body. For many individuals, varicose veins do not pose a serious health threat. However in some cases, varicose veins can cause serious pain, discomfort, and can cause other health problems. They also may also be a sign of circulatory problems.

    Varicose veins are commonly caused by aging and pregnancy. As the body ages, it loses elasticity—causing the veins to stretch excessively. If the valves become weak enough, the blood will flow backward instead of flowing toward the heart. This induces blood pools and enlarges the veins. When someone is pregnant, the overall volume of blood in the body increases, but the blood flow in the legs to the pelvis are actually decreased. This is done to support the development of the fetus. However, it may also cause varicose veins. Fortunately, it is possible to treat varicose veins. The following information below shows how to identify the common symptoms of varicose veins and how to treat them.

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    Varicose Veins Symptoms

    In most cases this condition does not cause any excruciating pain. Even if you do not feel any pain, you can look for the visible symptoms on your skin. Unusually dark purple colored veins, skin inflammations,and large twisting bulging veins are common symptoms of varicose veins on your skin. These symptoms usually appear from the groin to the ankle.

    If you are feeling any pain, you can distinguish if it is from varicose veins or not. Look for specific symptoms of aching leg pain, muscle in the legs, swelling in the legs, skin ulcers near the ankles. Spider veins and varicose veins are almost identical, but they do have slight differences. Spider veins are smaller, and can have blueish, purplish, or reddish colors. The main difference is that they are seen on the face more than varicose veins.

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    Varicose Veins Treatment

    Fortunately, no complicated medical procedures are necessarily required to treat varicose veins symptoms. Perform self-care treatments such as exercising and losing weight. According to WebMD and Mayo Clinic, regular exercising and weight loss can ease the symptoms of varicose veins (see references 1 and 2). This is because varicose veins can also be due to a lack of movement. Exercising will help the bloodflow circulate more efficaciously.

    Mayo Clinic also recommends wearing compression stockings to treat varicose veins. This is because these types of clothing squeezes the leg muscles and allows to flow more smoothly. If these treatments do not alleviate the symptoms, you can consult a doctor for sclerotherapy, and laser surgery treatments.

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    Referenes

    WebMD, Varicose and Spider Veins” Updated February 11, 2008

    Mayo Clinc, “Varicose Veins Treatmetns and Drugs” Updated January 16, 2009

    University of Maryland Medical Center, “Varicose Veins Overview” Updated June 01, 2010