Varicose veins develop when the valves inside the veins stop functioning properly and won’t allow blood to flow well, causing them to swell up and appear as green/blue bulges on your skin. Varicose veins don’t usually hurt or become a serious threat, but some potential health risks might come with them.
What are the possible causes of varicose veins in the legs, and is there a way to prevent them?
Causes of Varicose Veins in Legs
Veins have one-way valves that allow blood to flow in only one direction. If the vein’s walls stretch out and lose flexibility, the valves become weak, which might cause your blood to flow in the opposite way. When this happens, blood stores up inside the vein, resulting in a swollen, enlarged vein.
Varicose veins are common in the leg region, mainly because it’s the area furthest away from the heart. The reason is that gravity makes it difficult for blood to flow in the heart’s direction.
Risk Factors of Varicose Veins
Despite all the research that the experts have conducted, the reason as to why the vein’s valves stop working is still unknown. However, some people are more susceptible to developing varicose veins than others. For example, pregnancy, menopause, obesity, genetics, and women who are aged 50 and older run a higher risk.
You can prevent varicose veins from happening by following a few, simple tips. Getting regular exercise, even if it’s walking 30 minutes a day, helps improve your circulation and decreases the chances of your vein’s valves malfunctioning. Avoid standing for long periods of time, crossing your legs while sitting, sleeping with a pillow under your feet to encourage blood flow, and maintaining a healthy weight.
If your circumstances force you to stand for an extensive amount of time, try to move around. You should try to move a little every 30 minutes or so.
In most cases, varicose veins are harmless. People tend to get a varicose vein treatment for aesthetic reasons but, if they are causing you discomfort, you should seek medical help.
Treatments for varicose veins are usually simple and can be done at home. Depending on how severe your case is, doctors might prescribe wearing compression socks which encourages blood to flow the right way. You can always take over-the-counter meds to relieve pain and reduce swelling.
Doctors might also suggest eliminating varicose veins altogether, which can be done through a laser treatment. Some treatments include:
- Endoscopic Vein Surgery
- Laser Surgery
- Micro Sclerotherapy
- Endovenous Ablation Therapy
These procedures are minimally invasive. However, before deciding what treatment to go with, it’s always best to consult with your doctor about what would work best for you and your varicose veins.
Treat Your Varicose Veins!
Knowing about what causes varicose veins in the legs can help you start taking measures to prevent them from happening at all. It’s always a good choice to get a jump start on treatments before things get worse.
Want to keep learning the best ways to stay healthy and how to improve your lifestyle? Our blog has tons of great articles that can help!