Standard | Concise
What are Varicose Veins?
Arteries bring blood from
the heart to the extremities, veins take
the blood back to the heart.
Veins contain one way valves
to prevent the blood from flowing back When
the valves become faulty the blood can travel
back to the feet This causes the veins that
are near to the surface of the skin to enlarge
and result in what is commonly called varicose
veins. These can range from small dilated
veins to large bunch of grape-like structures
in the calf.
Thread veins can often occur
alongside varicose veins or can occur on
Varicose veins is a slowly
progressive disease which if left untreated
can lead to marked skin damage or ulceration
near the ankle.
do Varicose Veins occur?
Up to 25% of the adult population
have varicose veins and heredity is a primary
Environmental factors also
play a large part, for example, prolonged
standing in various occupations and our
Western diet with high fat, refined sugar
and low fibre content may also contribute.
Varicose veins become more
frequent in advancing age but can appear
at any time in life. Hormonal changes in
puberty, pregnancy and the menopause may
influence the course of the disease, though
60-70% of varicose veins during pregnancy
will disappear within a few months of delivery.
Symptoms of Varicose Veins
Varicose veins may cause
feelings of fatigue, heaviness, aching,
burning, throbbing, itching and cramps in
the legs. These symptoms are often accompanied
by swelling of the ankle. Thread veins can
also produce the same symptoms
can I do to prevent them?
Avoid standing still for
long periods and take plenty of walking
exercise. Eat a good diet. Wearing support
stockings may help in relieving they symptoms.
No creams or drugs are available
to prevent of treat varicose veins.
The earlier varicose veins
and dermal flares are treated the better
the long term and cosmetic outcome.
All these treatments! Which is the one for
Philip Coleridge Smith DM FRCS
Reader in Surgery, UCL Medical School, London .
Consultant Vascular Surgeon – BVI Medical
The West London Vein Clinic: Tel 0870 609 2389