Varicose Veins: What it is, Symptoms and Causes
Ever noticed dark blue or purple colored swollen, enlarged veins on someone’s skin surface? If you have, you have already witnessed varicose veins. Though any normal vein in your body can turn varicose, in general, the veins of legs (As these are subject to high pressure when you are standing) are found to be more prone.
There’s no reason to panic if you have got varicose. These are not harmful or life-threatening in general; however, you have to withstand the pain that these cause.
Below are the most common signs of varicose veins:
- You will start experiencing ankle swelling. Certain parts of your skin will itch, as the waste products start building up in your legs.
- Your legs will start aching and you will find them heavier (Things get worse at night or after you complete an exercise routine).
- The skin near the affected veins will start to distort. Also, whitish scar like patches will start to appear near your ankles (Medical Term: Atrophie Blanche). You can also experience shrunk skin near the ankles (Medical Term: Lipodermatosclerosis).
- Even a minor injury will cause heavy bleeding and it’ll take much more time than usual to heel.
- Your leg muscles will be more prone to cramps, especially if you make a sudden move.
What causes varicose veins?
Malfunctioning of blood vessels: Heart, with help of arteries, transport blood to all the parts of human body. At the same time, veins pump back the blood into heart. When your veins turn varicose, the leaflets of the valves stop functioning properly. Hence, it is not able to pump the blood into heart. Thus, a reverse flow of blood happens and the same enlarges the veins.
Heredity: You can inherit this from your parents.
Obesity: Excessive weight can cause this as well. If you have gained much more weight than what your height permits, you can see varicose veins appearing on your skin surface; as it takes more effort for the blood vessels to pump the blood back to heart.
Apart from the aforementioned ones, hormonal abnormalities, pregnancy, exposure to excessive heat or long periods of standing can also cause varicose veins.