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While varicose veins aren’t the most attractive-looking things in the world, they are less harmful than they look. These swollen veins can be caused by a variety of things, but luckily there are a variety of ways to treat them that don’t include surgery. While of course it depends on how swollen and enlarged the veins are, there are many remedies you can use to decrease the swelling. First, before we get into the treatments, we should go over the causes of varicose veins and who is susceptible to them.
Causes of Varicose Veins
Varicose veins are usually blue or dark purple veins that usually occur on the legs. They may be lumpy, or twisted and bulging. They can make your legs feel heavy, aching and uncomfortable. Other symptoms include muscle cramps and a change in the dryness or color of your leg.
They develop when valves stop working correctly. Healthy veins allow blood to travel freely to the heart through a series of these valves. When they become weakened or damaged, blood can flow in the wrong direction. This causes them to change in color, become swollen, and bigger.
People Who are at Risk
A common condition, three in 10 people get varicose veins. Anybody can get them, but women are more susceptible. Pregnancy is just one way women can get varicose veins. A change in hormones sometimes causes muscular walls of the blood vessels to relax, increasing the risk.
Old age is another cause. Circulation is not as good as we get older, and the elderly commonly get swollen veins. When we start to get older, valves inside your veins stop working as well as they should. Genetics also play a role. If people in your family have varicose veins, you are more likely to get them. While not exclusively genetic, genes can make it more likely to get them.
If you are overweight, you also have a higher risk of getting varicose veins. When you are heavy puts pressure on your veins makes them work harder to get blood to the heart. Increasing pressure on the valves, they become prone to leaking. Even your occupation can put you at risk. If you stand for long periods at work, you should make sure to move around and sit frequently to avoid getting varicose veins.
While there are surgeries to remove varicose veins completely, this is not always needed. There are others non-surgical ways to treat these veins. They range from simple things like putting your feet up to more intensive treatments, but a combination of methods is usually the right choice.
Sclerotherapy eliminates of varicose veins by injecting them with a solution called a sclerosant. Scarring the veins causing them to collapse, this forces the blood to healthier veins. Over time, your body destroys the veins and they disappear. This procedure usually treats small varicose veins close to the surface. It is basically done for cosmetic reasons but can help you improve circulation as well.
Another procedure that is non-surgical is radiofrequency ablation. These radio waves are transmitted through the walls of the veins. The doctor numbs the vein, using an ultrasound to see inside your leg. Then they pass a catheter along the vein to apply the frequencies, heating up the wall of the vein, thickening it, and contracting. Eventually they will be reabsorbed by the body and disappear. To see the fully results, it may take up to a few months.
A third option is laser ablation. Similar to radio frequency ablation, the endovenous procedure uses lasers energy that also closes the vessel with heat. Using a catheter, the vein will shrink and be absorbed by your body.
Basic treatments are making sure that your circulation is good. Moving around enough is key. Eating well is always imperative. Exercising is crucial. If you are encountered with veins that don’t need to be treated by one of these procedures, you can try to get rid of them on your own. Put your feet up when you are resting. Take care of yourself and you will be able to improve your blood flow and circulation. If not, use one of these non-invasive procedures to get rid of the veins.