What Are Varicose Veins?

Varicose VeinsSmooth and healthy looking skin is the goal of most people. Our skin is actually the largest organ in our bodies and we want it to look beautiful. Unfortunately there are many unsightly conditions that can disrupt the appearance of our skin. Some of these can cause discomfort as well as affect the appearance. Varicose veins are a common condition that can give an unhealthy appearance and can be quite uncomfortable. Some studies have shown that up to half of adult women in the United States and many men will experience varicose veins at some point. There are many factors that lead to the development of varicose veins, ranging from genetic factors to lifestyle choices. Individuals with discolored and twisted looking veins that are sometimes painful or itchy may be suffering from varicose veins. Varicose veins are typically not a serious condition and there are a number of treatment options available. Those with this condition can easily get a varicose vein treatment from a vein center in New Jersey. Treatments for this condition are typically fast and relatively painless. There are many different options available to suit different patients and different levels of severity.

What are the Symptoms of Varicose Veins?

More often than not varicose veins occur in the legs, though they can occur anywhere in the body. Discolored veins that are blue, purple, or reddish and bloated looking are the telltale sign of varicose veins. Often those with varicose veins will experience a feeling of heaviness in the legs as well as itching in the areas where the affected veins are located. Varicose veins may also lead to swelling of the feet and ankles as well as swelling further up the legs as well. While varicose veins can occur anytime, standing for prolonged periods can make them worse. The largest complaint most people have with varicose veins is purely in appearance though some people do complain of discomfort from time to time.

What Causes Varicose Veins?

The bloated, twisted, and discolored veins that are commonly associated with varicose veins are generally caused by a problem with circulation of the blood. The veins in the legs have one-way valves that keep blood from flowing toward the feet when the heart is in between beats. When these valves become weak or stop functioning altogether the blood in the legs does not get pumped back up through the rest of the body efficiently and is instead allowed to pool up and stagnate in the veins. When this blood is allowed to collect it causes the swelling and bloating that makes veins visible.

What are the Risk Factors for Varicose Veins?

There is a range of factors that can lead to the development of varicose veins from genetic predispositions to lifestyle choices. Studies have shown that varicose veins tend to run in families. Those whose parents have experienced varicose veins are much more likely to experience the condition themselves. Varicose veins are linked to changes in hormones and other body chemistry issues that are controlled by genetics. While genetics are a part of the puzzle, the bulk of the risk factors come from lifestyle choices. People who are overweight are much more likely to experience varicose veins that those of a healthy weight. When we gain weight our hearts have to work much harder to pump the blood through our entire bodies, which puts us at risk for developing varicose veins. Pregnancy puts many women at risk for largely the same reason because they must gain weight rapidly. The hormonal shifts associated with pregnancy are also known to trigger varicose veins. As we age the valves in our legs become worn out and tired, which can cause varicose veins.

Those individuals like factory line workers and retail sales associates who are forced to stand for long periods of time at work are also at a greater risk for developing varicose veins. When standing, it is much harder for the heart to pump the blood up out of the legs against gravity. This can lead to the pooling and collecting that causes varicose veins.

How are Varicose Veins Diagnosed?

Varicose veins are typically very easy to spot. A doctor or other professional at a vein center will examine the legs visually and most likely be able to make a diagnosis. He or she may also ask some questions about lifestyle and whether or not the patient has experienced any soreness or swelling in the legs.

How are Varicose Veins Treated?

While varicose veins are a very common condition, there are a number of treatments available and the condition is generally not that serious. The basic idea for treating varicose veins is to seal off the affected vein so that the blood will find a new route through a healthy vein, thus eliminating the symptoms. Sclerotherapy is one of the most common treatments available because of its effectiveness and ease.

This procedure has been around for a long time and is practically painless. It is done with a series of microinjections that seal off the vein so that over time the body will naturally direct the flow of blood to other, healthier veins. Endovenous laser treatment is a similar procedure where a tiny laser is inserted into the vein and then energized to seal the vein off. This procedure has a similar affect to Sclerotherapy in that it will seal off the vein so that the blood will naturally reroute itself through healthier veins.  In addition to these treatment options there are a few other choices for varicose vein treatments in NJ, treatment options vary and may depend on your health and other medical conditions you have.

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