Varicose veins are considered to be any veins which are enlarged and have become tortuous. They are generally found to be veins on the leg, but varicose veins can be present in a variety of other areas. When veins become varicose, the blood inside of the veins begins to flow backwards because the leaflets inside of the veins are unable to meet and work properly. Varicose veins are believed to be the most common in the superficial veins that are found within the legs because they are subjected to high pressure when the individual is standing or just participating in general activities. The veins can become painful, especially if someone is standing for a long period of time. People who are dealing with varicose veins as a result of standing may also begin to experience leg swelling, eczema, skin thickening, and some forms of ulceration.
There are some non-surgical methods that can be used for treatment of varicose veins. This can include elastic stockings, sclerotherapy, elevating the legs, and exercising on a regular basis. One of the traditional surgical treatments of the past involved completely removing the affected veins in the area. However, this is considered to be highly invasive for obvious reason. As a result, there are some less invasive options, such as ultrasound schlerotherapy, radio frequency ablation, and various types of laser treatments. Since most of the veins in the legs are considered to be superficial and are generally affected as varicose veins, they can be removed without causing any serious problems for the individual who is experiencing the condition.
The symptoms associated with varicose veins tend to vary depending on the overall severity of the condition. Some people experience heavy legs, swelling, spider veins, cramps, and difficulty in walking. Likewise, there may be restless leg syndrome, whitened scars that are on the ankles, minor injuries which may bleed and take longer to heal, redness, dryness, itchiness, and shrinking of the skin above the ankle. If left untreated, this can lead to some complications, although varicose veins are generally not a severe situation.
Complications that may be present as a result of varicose veins can include tenderness at the region, heaviness, inability to walk, constant pain, skin conditions, uncles on the skin or near the ankles, bleeding from minor trauma, blood clotting in the area that is affected, fat necrosis, and development of carcinomas. Generally speaking, these types of complications are not common, although they can occur if the individual does not receive proper treatment or if they allow their diagnosis of varicose veins to worsen over an extended period of time.