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Varicose Veins


What is it ?

Varicose veins are veins that look bluish, dilated and are visible under the skin. In 95% of cases, they are located in the superficial venous network, drained by saphenous veins that originate at the foot; this is why varicose veins are most often formed on the legs.

Varicose veins, also called varicosities, that are finer and appear as small filaments are called telangiectasia or spider veins.

Varicose veins can cause pain, heaviness or heat, as well as itching, cramping or swelling. If left untreated, varicose veins can cause more serious complications, such as phlebitis and skin ulceration.  Varicose veins also increase the chances of developing a deep venous clot which can significantly impact your health.

What are the causes?

The main cause of varicose veins is venous insufficiency, which results from a malfunction of the venous system, which then reduces the ability to transport blood to the heart. Due to gravity, the blood of the lower limbs stagnates and accumulates in the veins so that they expand permanently. Varicose veins, the physical and visible manifestations of this phenomenon, then appear.

Other factors may also come into play, such as :

Relaxation of the walls of the veins

Which results in a loss of elasticity and tone affecting blood circulation, as well as a weakening of the valves, the small membranes on the surface of the vein wall that force the blood to flow towards the heart.

Weak muscle tone in the legs

Since the muscles of the feet and legs work in conjunction with the veins to move blood towards the upper body.

Position

Standing up for long periods of time, which does not promote circulation.

Pregnancy

Since the growing uterus compresses the veins responsible for venous return.

Causes

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