It is common for veins in the legs of older people to become more prominent. In most cases this is a sign of a condition called varicose veins. The problem is due to malfunctioning vein valves and can be painful. It may be caused by a range of factors that include genetics, obesity, and constant standing. Fortunately, doctors can offer a varicose vein treatment that best meets each patient’s needs.
The Definition of Varicose Veins
Varicose veins are caused by faulty leg veins. A human body includes a network of veins that carry deoxygenated body to the heart. Veins include valves that prevent blood from flowing backwards. When valves do not close correctly, blood seeps through and begins to build up in veins and they distend, or grow large and visible on the skin’s surface. The condition can cause aching legs, rashes, and brownish skin stains. In serious cases they may lead to skin ulcers and blood clots.
Varicose Veins Have Many Causes
It is common for varicose veins to run in families and the problem usually affects more women than men. Research shows that changing hormone levels may be a contributing factor. Varicose veins are common in pregnant women and those going through menopause. Many women and some men also develop the problem because they stand or sit for long periods of time. Obesity, being bedridden, and lack of exercise also increase the risk of developing varicose veins. It is possible to prevent the condition, however. Wearing support stockings, maintaining a healthy weight, exercise, and avoiding high heels all help.
There Are Treatments That Correct Varicose Veins
There is hope for patients who have developed varicose veins. Treatments vary according to patients’ conditions. Many are good candidates for sclerotherapy, which is done on an out-patient basis and usually takes less than two hours. It involves a doctor injecting a chemical into veins, causing them to collapse. Other patients do better with surgery that requires hospitalization. During the procedure a doctor surgically removes veins.
Modern medicine now offers help for patients with varicose veins, a condition that causes leg veins to bulge and sometimes causes pain. There are many causes for the problem which is often inherited. Doctors generally resolve the problem using out-patient sclerotherapy or surgical removal of veins.