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Varicose veins

The veins which are twisted and enlarged are called varicose veins. The veins close to the skin’s surface (superficial) can become varicose. These are most commonly appearing on legs and feet. Due to excessive walking and standing the pressure in the veins of the lower body increases and thus results in varicose veins.

Varicose Veins Symptoms

Varicose veins are most common and might not cause any pain. The most recognizable signs and
symptoms include:

Bulging veins: veins that appear to be dark purple or blue. Twisted and bulged veins that often look
like chords on the legs.

Severe and painful symptoms include:

•  Heavy legs: An achy or heavy feeling in the legs after physical activity.
•  Itching: The area around the varicose veins may cause itching.
Swelling: you experience swelling, throbbing, and muscle cramping in the lower legs.
Pain: unbearable pain especially behind your knees after sitting or standing for long hours.
Skin discoloration: varicose veins can cause discolorations on your skin.

Spider veins and varicose veins are both similar but look different from each other.

They are close to the skin’s surface and appear in a red or blue spider’s web.

Spider veins may appear anywhere on your body mostly behind knees, on foot, or on the face.


Varicose Veins Causes

Varicose veins occur when the walls of your veins weaken. Arteries and veins play a major role In the
functioning of the heart. The blood from the heart is carried by the arteries to the rest of the body and
veins return the blood to the heart from the rest of the body. In this process of returning blood to the
heart, the veins in the legs work against gravity.

Muscle contractions in the lower legs act as pumps, and elastic vein walls help blood return to the
heart. As blood pressure in the vein increases, the walls which are weak allow makes veins to enlarge.
As your vein stretches, the valves that keep blood moving in one direction in your vein can’t work as
they should. As a result, blood backs up or pools in your vein, causing your vein to swell, bulge and

Risk factors:

The following factors can increase the chances of developing varicose veins
Age: Aging causes wear and tear on the valves in the veins that help control blood flow. The
veins thus lose elasticity and stiffen.
Gender: women are more likely to develop varicose veins. The hormonal changes that occur
before the menstrual period, during pregnancy, or during menopause might be a major factor as the
female hormones allow the walls of the veins to stretch. Those who take birth control pills are
at a higher risk to develop varicose veins.
Pregnancy: The volume of the blood increases during the pregnancy. These changes may
support the growth of the baby but at the same time it also causes the veins in the legs to

Genetic transfer: There will be more chances of developing varicose veins in one of our family
members have it.
Obesity: excess weight puts added pressure on veins.
Lifestyle: standing or sitting for long periods of time.


The complications are rare and include
Ulcers: painful ulcers can be formed on the skin, especially near the ankles. Before the ulcers
form, a discolored spot occurs on the skin. Contact your health care provider immediately if
an ulcer is formed on the leg.
Blood clots: leg pain and swelling may occur when the veins in the legs become enlarged.
Persistent leg pain is the symptom of a blood clot and requires medical attention.
Bleeding: The veins close to the skin may burst sometimes which causes minor bleeding.
Though it is minor but requires medical treatment.


Improving the blood flow and muscle tone can reduce the risk of developing varicose veins. The
following can help you treat the discomfort caused by the varicose veins:
1. Avoid wearing high heels and tight hosieries.
2. Keep changing your sitting postures and standing positions regularly.
3. Take a diet that is high in fiber and low in salts.
4. Make a habit of doing exercise
5. Keeping your legs raised while sitting or lying down.
6. Have control over your weight.
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