At first, you noticed a feeling of heavy legs, itching, and pain resembling cramps. Then small red and dilated vessels appeared on the skin of your legs until you realized that these swellings were nothing more than varicose veins. This dilation and deformation of a vein are related to hereditary factors, pregnancy, exposure to heat, and the lifestyle of the person suffering from it.
Varicose veins: symptoms
A varicose vein is a visible vein forming a protrusion that appears below the surface of the skin, most often at the calves. The number of women affected is 2 to 3 times higher than that of men.
Even if varicose veins are grouped together, they are not always painful. Raised veins resembling a spider’s web can cover a large part of the leg without causing pain in this area. Only the presence of a varicose vein can cause discomfort. Other symptoms of varicose veins appear as the disease progresses, such as impressions of distension in the veins, heavy legs, oedema or cramps at the end of the day or at night.
Varicose veins: the causes
Blood accumulates in the veins in case of dysfunction of the valves that must drain the blood in the veins. The veins swell and the blood flows in the opposite direction. According to some data, the weakness of the veins is due in most cases to heredity, one of the causes of varicose veins.
Other factors may contribute to the appearance or aggravation of the pathology. Such is the case of pregnancy, prolonged standing, overweight, advanced age and sex.
How to relieve varicose veins?
To relieve varicose veins, it is necessary to respect some hygiene measures that must accompany the treatments recommended by a doctor:
Avoid being overweight;
Wear loose clothing and comfortable shoes;
Do not expose yourself to the sun;
Avoid a sedentary lifestyle and walk as often as possible;
Massage the legs regularly and elevate them during sleep;
Take veinotonic drugs to strengthen the vein wall and partially avoid swelling of the veins. Taking these substances helps to reduce feelings of tiredness and heaviness and accelerate the reduction of edema.
How are varicose veins treated?
- Varicose veins can be treated with:
Anticoagulant drugs that inhibit the formation of clots in the blood and prevent blood clotting and the appearance of phlebitis;
– Sclérothérapie: a method that consists of obstructing the varicose vein, drying it out and eliminating it by injecting a sclerosing solution into it;
– Surgery: the surgeon decides on the appropriate technique depending on several factors, such as the volume of the varicose veins, the results of the venous pathology and the results of the Doppler ultrasound.
Complications of varicose veins can result in:
– Skin problems: appearance of varicose eczema, ochre dermatitis or varicose ulcer;
– Rupture of varicose veins: external or internal rupture that can cause bleeding;
– Phlebitis: formation of a clot inside the veins. Phlebitis can be superficial or deep. The latter is the most serious complication of varicose veins, as it can lead to pulmonary embolism if the clot moves towards the pulmonary arteries.