Varicose veins are swollen and twisted veins that look blue and are close to the surface of the skin. They are unsightly and uncomfortable. Veins bulge, throb, and feel heavy. The legs and feet can swell. The skin can itch. Varicose veins may occur in almost any part of the body. They are most often seen in the back of the calf or on the inside of the leg between the groin and the ankle. Hemorrhoids (veins around the anus) can also become varicose. Causes and risk factors for varicose veins include:
Medical treatment is not required for most varicose veins unless problems result, such as a deep-vein blood clot or severe bleeding which can be caused by injury to the vein.
Your doctor can take an X-ray of the vein (venogram) and/or a special ultrasound to tell if there are any problems. Surgery can be done to remove enlarged veins. Sclerotherapy can also be done on smaller veins. This procedure uses a chemical injection into the vein that causes it to close up. Other veins then take over its work. Both of these treatments, however, may bring only temporary success, and more varicose veins can develop.
To relieve and prevent varicose veins:
Questions to Ask
|Has the varicose vein become swollen, red, very tender or warm to the touch||Yes see doctor|
|Are varicose veins accompanied by a rash or sores on the leg or near the ankle or have they caused circulation problems in your feet||Yes see doctor|
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