Varicose veins are never a welcome sight. A varicose vein occurs when blood collects in the leg, resulting in a weak vein and increased pressure around the vein. Varicose veins are more common in women than men. It is also considered a hereditary condition and affects some pregnant women.
Women become self-conscious when wearing clothing that reveals swollen and discolored veins on their legs. But what happens when these varicose veins start becoming painful?
Pain symptoms include swelling, itching, and even changes in the color of the skin. Swelling of the legs or ankles is a result of sitting or standing for extended periods of time making it painful to stand or walk afterwards. The surface of the skin above the vein also becomes itchy and causes discomfort. Persistent itching leads to skin ulcers.
Fortunately, there are steps that can be taken to reduce varicose vein pain. Support stockings and pain killers are used to relieve mild discomfort. Support stockings, also referred to as compression stockings, are worn to provide support to the legs and improve circulation, easing any pain so that daily activities will not be affected.
Proper exercise is one of the most important factors to avoid varicose veins and ease any early signs of pain. Leading an active lifestyle helps to improve the circulatory flow of the blood. Stretching and the elevation of the legs also help to reduce the collection of blood in the veins of the leg area. Elevating the legs above heart level makes it easier for the blood to flow back to the heart. A proper and balanced diet is another way to lessen varicose vein pain. Being overweight increases the pressure placed on the legs, the support system of the body, so it is important to maintain a healthy weight.
If the condition becomes too much to endure, there is medical treatment available. Doctors remove the painful veins through laser treatment. Some feel that seeking medical treatment is more helpful after realizing that home remedies have little to no effect on their varicose veins. For those who experience extreme varicose vein pain, doctors resort to surgery to remove the affected veins. Doctors only remove the superficial veins, which does not cause any long-term problems in blood flow because the veins in the deep tissue remain and continue to pump the blood back to the heart.
It is important to consult a doctor regarding varicose veins, especially when they become painful. Rare complications may occur such as an ulcer around the ankle. When this happens, a discolored spot appears around the varicose vein before the ulcer. Blood clots are another complication which may arise. A blood clot will cause the limb to become enlarged and swell. Any sudden swelling needs immediate medical attention.
Having varicose veins has had a negative effect on some women’s lifestyle and self-esteem, so it is important to take proper measures to avoid getting varicose veins. Exercising daily, eating properly, and being conscious about lifestyle choices will help alleviate the condition.