40% of Europe’s population is affected by vascular diseases. Complaints are also common among the age group of 20-30 years, like spider veins, varicose veins, leg cramps during the night or leg swelling.
What is varicose veins?
Blood vessels encompass arteries, arterioles, veins, and capillaries and carry the essential oxygen to the tissues. While arteries carry the oxygen-rich blood from our heart to the tissues the varicose veins ensure the carriage of carbon dioxide enriched blood from them. In this sense, varicose veins are a common venous disease, an inadequate functioning of the veins.
In the case of varicose veins, the vascular wall abnormally thickens or expands, so it does not perform properly its function. It does not efficiently carry the carbon dioxide enrich the blood. Any vein may become varicose, but it most commonly affected in the legs, thighs, and feet but may develop elsewhere.
What types of varicose veins do we distinguish?
Greater saphenous varicose veins
Generally, it develops as a consequence of the inefficiency of the pressure-lowering venous valve within the veins. It may appear as a pen thick, bulging, winding vasodilation on the leg and sometimes on the inner part of the knee and the thighs. In rare cases, it can develop on the calves as well. It often causes pain – tired, heavy legs, swollen ankles and leg with a slight tense pain.
Reticular varicose veins
They appear on the outer and back surfaces of the leg and the thigh. The varicose veins are translucent through the skin and loosely interconnected straight lines and 2-4 millimeters thick. Generally, they do not protrude from the surface of the skin and rarely cause any complaint. They are mainly cosmetically distracting factors.
They could be up to 1 millimeter thick, red, wide-spread small arteries occurring in the top layer of the skin. Usually, they come from the thicker veins located deep in the body, their color is purple, dark blue or red. It may appear in any part of the leg, but it may still be visible on the face, especially on the nose. It only causes cosmetic confusion, it cannot be considered a disease.
How can you treat varicose veins?
The exact treatment always depends on the severity of your condition:
As lifestyle choices also play a huge part in the development of varicose veins, in mild cases it might be enough to change bad habits: Moderate alcohol consumption, stop smoking and losing weight can work. Being overweight is especially hard on our body and veins, as more weight means more pressure.
However, if your condition is severe, surgery is the option you can choose. This eliminates the risks for complications like thrombosis, pulmonary embolism or leg ulcers. Nowadays there are different surgeries (stripping or laser) available from which your doctor chooses the one that suits you the most.