Varicose Veins: Pertaining to an unnatural swelling,
as in varix or varicose veins; (Veins: a vessel in which blood flows
toward the heart.
Varicose veins is a condition in which the superficial veins have
become swollen, tortuous and ineffective. It is frequently a problem in
the esophagus, the rectum, the spermatic cord in the male and
in the broad ligament of the uterus in the female. The veins which are
most commonly found to be abnormally enlarged are those that involve the
saphenous veins of the lower extremities, and this condition is found frequently
in people who spend a great deal of time standing, for instance, sales
people. Also pregnancy, with the accompanying pressure on the veins in
the pelvis, may be a predisposing cause. Varicose veins in the rectum are
commonly referred to as piles, or more properly, hemorrhoids
(hem.o-roids). The general term for these enlarged veins is varices
(var’i-sez), the singular form being varix (var’iks).
Varicosity results from a chronic increase in blood pressure which
dilates the vein. When the vein walls are pushed apart, the valves no longer
seal properly, making it difficult for the muscles to push the blood upwards.
Instead of flowing from one valve to the next, the blood begins to pool
in the vein increasing venous pressure, causing congestion, and the vein
begins to bulge and twist. Because superficial veins have less muscular
support than the deeper veins, they are more likely to become varicose.
Varicose veins is usually bulging, bluish cords running just beneath
the surface of your skin. Most common is the legs and feet, but can appear
anywhere in the body. Sometimes varicose veins is surrounded by patches
of flooded capillaries known as; spider-veins, and are considered superficial
varicose veins. Although they can be painful and disfiguring, they are
usually harmless. When they become inflamed, they become tender to touch
and can hinder circulation to the point of causing swollen ankles, itchy
skin and aching in the affected area (limb).
Deep varicose veins may be sites where blood clots can form. Deep
vein inflammation, or thrombophlebitis, in the thighs and pelvis may lead
to pulmonary embolism, a potentially fatal condition.
Women are twice as likely to develop varicose veins than men.
* Prominent swollen dark blue blood vessels
* Bulging, rope-like, bluish veins indicate superficial varicose
* Affected area may be painful to touch
* Discolored, peeling skin; skin ulcers; and constant rather
than intermittent pain are sings of severe varicose veins.
* Pregnancy, obesity and standing for long period of time can
lead to excessive pressure, which in turns lead to varicosity.
* Chronic constipation can lead to varicose veins (hemorrhoids)
* Muscles that are out of condition offer poor blood-pumping
* Increase in age; and weak veins
Mild case of varicose veins does not normally require a doctor’s
If there is pain and swelling to the affected area, see your
Using support stocking for your legs and elevating your feet
can help with the discomfort
Your doctor may prescribe an anti-inflammatory medication
if there’s swelling and pain (with all medication, use as prescribed by
If your skin around a varicose vein becomes ulcerous or discolored,
or if you have pain with no obvious outward signs, call your doctor ASAP
-may have deep varicose veins.
Varicose veins can be eliminated by several methods:
* Spider veins can be removed by laser treatment.
* Mild case of superficial varicose veins can be treated by
sclerotherapy ( a chemical known as a sclerosing agent is injected into
the vein to collapse its walls so it can no longer transport blood).
* Severe cases: may need surgical removal, or stripping.
* Discuss all options with your doctor, dermatologist, or
*** Staying fit is the best way to keep your leg muscles toned and
your blood flowing – exercise regularly.
*** Low salt diet and plenty of water (at least 8 glasses of water/day)
-see your doctor about any change in diet
*** Smoking may contribute to elevated blood pressure, which can
*** If pregnant: sleeping on your left side rather than on your
your back can minimize pressure from the uterus on the veins in your pelvic
area and improve blood flow to the fetus.
Call your doctor if you have red varicose veins, this may be a sign
of phlebitis, a serious circulatory condition.
Call your doctor if the skin over your varicose veins becomes ulcerous
Call your doctor if you cut a varicose vein, seek emergency care