Varicose veins: causes, symptoms and prevention


Varicose veins are enlarged veins. Any superficial vein can become varicose, but the leg veins are most commonly affected. In a standing position (standing and walking), the pressure in the veins of the lower body increases.

For some, varicose veins and varicose veins are just a cosmetic problem, but for many people, varicose veins can cause heaviness and swelling in the lower limbs. Sometimes varicose veins lead to more serious problems - trophic ulcers.

Treatment may include both measures to prevent the development of chronic venous insufficiency and surgical procedures to remove the veins (with various techniques).

Symptoms of varicose veins

Varicose veins may not cause pain. Signs that suggest varicose veins include:

  • The veins are dark purple or blue
  • Veins that appear twisted and bulging; they are often like ropes at your feet

When painful signs and symptoms occur, they can include:

  • Sensation of pain or heaviness in the legs
  • Burning, throbbing, muscle spasms and swelling in the legs
  • Itching around one or more veins
  • Discoloration of the skin around varicose veins

Varicose veins are similar to varicose veins, but smaller. These veins are closest to the surface of the skin and are often red or blue.

Spider veins are found on the legs, but can also be found on the face. They vary in size and often look like spider webs.

When to see a doctor

If you have symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency and wish to establish the exact cause and completely eliminate the discomfort, register now for a consultation. Experienced phlebologists will monitor the condition of the vascular bed and provide individual recommendations based on experience.

Causes of varicose veins

Weak or damaged valves can lead to varicose veins. Arteries carry blood from the heart to tissues, and veins return blood to the heart. The veins in the legs work against gravity.

Muscle contractions in the lower legs act as a pump and the elastic walls of the veins help the blood to return to the heart. Small valves in the veins open when blood flows to the heart and then close to stop blood flow. If these valves are weak or damaged, blood can flow back and accumulate in the vein, causing the veins to stretch or twist.

Risk Factors

These factors increase the risk of developing varicose veins:

  • Age. The risk of varicose veins increases with age. Aging causes the valves in the veins to wear out which help regulate blood flow. Ultimately, wear causes blood to flow back into the veins.
  • Gender. Women are more likely to develop this disease. Hormonal changes during pregnancy, premenstruation or menopause can be a factor because female hormones tend to reduce the elasticity of the venous walls. Hormonal medications such as birth control pills can increase the risk of developing varicose veins.
  • Pregnancy. During pregnancy, the volume of blood in your body increases. This change supports the growth of the fetus, but can also lead to the unwanted side effect of widening the leg veins. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can also play a role.
  • Familial disease. If other family members have had varicose veins, it is more likely.
  • Obesity. Being overweight puts extra pressure on the veins.
  • Standing or sedentary lifestyle. Your blood doesn't flow well if you stay in the same position for a long time.


Complications of varicose veins, although rare, can include:

  • Ulcer. Peptic ulcers can form on the skin near varicose veins, especially near the ankles. A discolored patch on the skin usually appears before the ulcer forms. See your doctor right away if you suspect you have an ulcer.
  • Blood clots. Sometimes the deep veins in the legs become enlarged. In these cases, the affected leg can become painful and swollen. Any persistent pain or swelling in the legs requires medical attention because it could indicate a blood clot, a condition medically known as thrombophlebitis.
  • Bleeding. Sometimes the veins very close to the skin can burst. This usually causes only minor bleeding. But any bleeding requires medical attention.

Prevention of varicose veins

There is no way to completely prevent varicose veins. But improving blood circulation and muscle tone can reduce the risk of developing varicose veins. Home remedies for varicose vein discomfort:

  • Gymnastics
  • Maintain an optimal body mass index
  • Diet rich in fiber and low in salt
  • Avoid high heels, stiff hosiery and other tight clothing
  • Leg lift
  • Change your sitting or standing position regularly

Well, let's get going.