Varicose veins are swollen and enlarged veins that usually occur on the legs and feet. They may be blue or dark purple, and are often lumpy, bulging or twisted in appearance.
Other symptoms include:
If you have varicose veins and they do not cause you any discomfort, you may not need to visit a doctor. Varicose veins are rarely a serious condition and do not usually require treatment.
But speak to a doctor if:
Varicose veins develop when the small valves inside the veins stop working properly.
In a healthy vein, blood flows smoothly to the heart. The blood is prevented from flowing backwards by a series of tiny valves that open and close to let blood through.
If the valves weaken or are damaged, the blood can flow backwards and collect in the vein, eventually causing it to be swollen and enlarged (varicose).
Certain things can increase your chances of developing varicose veins, such as:
If treatment is necessary, your doctor may first recommend using compression stockings, taking regular exercise and elevating the affected area when resting.
If your varicose veins are still causing you pain or discomfort, or they cause complications, they can be treated in several ways.
The most common treatment options include:
There are several types of varicose veins, such as:
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