One out of five adults suffers from varicose veins. Also known as varicosities, this condition occurs when veins appear swollen with a blue, purple, or red color. It is also filled with blood and can be painful for some. But what causes varicose veins?
What are Varicose Veins?
Before moving on to what causes them, it is essential to know what varicose veins are exactly. These are enlarged and twisted veins that run beneath the skin’s surface. These veins are usually present in the legs and feet. This is because walking, and even standing, can affect the pressure in the lower body.
Varicose veins are more common in women. In fact, over 41% of women aged 50 and above have the veins. Although mostly harmless, they can be uncomfortable at times because when these veins swell up, they become sensitive. Additionally, varicose veins can limit blood circulation and cause aching and swollen ankles.
However, not all varicose veins are located just under the surface of the skin. In some cases, a major interior leg vein can become a varicose vein, and these deep veins are not visible. This type of vein can cause swelling and pain in the leg. It can also cause blood clots.
What Causes Them?
Weak valves are mainly what causes varicose veins. Arteries carry blood from the heart throughout tissues of the body. In turn, veins return the blood from the rest of the body to the heart and lungs. Notably, the veins in the legs work against gravity in order to accomplish this task.
The muscle contractions in the legs function as a pump to return blood to the upper organs of the circulatory system. The valves open to allow for blood flow and close to stop it from flowing the other way. For those who have weak valves, the blood flows backward and gathers in the vein. This causes the vein to twist.
When to See a Doctor
People bothered with how their legs look because of varicose veins are advised to see a doctor in order to determine the primary causes. The medical practitioner might want to examine the legs to check for blood flow or simply examine the patient’s legs while standing or sitting to determine what caused the veins in the patient.