The varicose vein is large, raised, swollen blood vessels which twist and turn. These veins usually develop in legs and can be seen through the skin.
Spider veins are smaller, red, purple and blue vessels that also twist and turn. These veins are easily visible through the skin and typically visible on legs and face.
Causes of Varicose veins and spider veins
- Occupations which involve standing position as nurses, saloon workers, teachers and factory workers
- Hormonal influences of pregnancy, puberty and menopause
- Use of birth control pills
- History of blood clots
- Conditions which cause increased pressure in the abdomen as tumours, constipation and externally worn garments as girdles.
Varicose veins and spider veins found more in women than in men, as estimated 40%-60%of adults develop varicose veins or spider veins.
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Symptoms of Varicose veins and Spider veins
Many people with varicose veins complain about pain, as aching or cramping feeling in legs. Other common varicose veins symptoms are tiredness, restlessness, burning, throbbing, heaviness in the legs. Some less common symptoms are swelling, ulcers and darkening of the skin; especially in the ankle region.
Varicose Veins and Spider Veins Treatment Options
- Support stockings : – Wear proper fitting support hose, especially when veins give painful or uncomfortable symptoms. You may purchase these stockings from any surgical supply store and at some pharmacies.
- Lifestyle changes : – Good skin hygiene, weight loss (if needed) and walking help a lot to treat varicose veins and spider veins.
- Sclerotherapy :- This procedure uses a highly concentrated saline (salt) solution or a specially made detergent that is injected directly into the vein. This treatment causes the vein to disappear over three to six weeks. Sclerotherapy is simple and easily affordable.
- Endovenous laser treatment :- A small laser fiber inserts into the vein and pulses of laser light delivers inside the vein; it makes the vein disappear; this procedure may take place under local anesthesia as an outpatient.
- Radiofrequency occlusion :- A small catheter inserts into the vein, the catheter throws radiofrequency energy to the vein wall, it causes heat, collapses and seals shut. This procedure is generally done under local anesthesia.
- Surgery :- Surgical procedures which treat varicose veins include ligation (tying of a vein) and stripping (removal of a long segment of the vein).
- Ambulatory Phlebectomy :- Removes large surface veins through small incisions which do not require stitches. The surgeon may use local, spinal or general anesthesia.
- Lasers and intense pulsed light :- Surface laser or intense pulsed light treatments, vascu-light and photoderm are some good options. These devices use heat energy to destroy varicose and spider veins. Although no needles or sclerosing solutions are used, still there may be some discomfort. Side effects including discoloration, staining and blisters may occur, sometimes results may be disappointing.
Many of the people with varicose or spider veins have pain or other symptoms. They might want the veins removed for cosmetic reasons.