What is causing my varicose veins?
Varicose veins prove a problem for many Australians, and at Ashbury Cosmetic Surgery we get down to the basics!
Everyone has heard of varicose veins; the unsightly and often painful swelling of veins that causes them to become enlarged and protrude under the skin, but what is it that causes them? Is there a way to prevent varicose veins? These are questions often asked in our clinic and we have answered them in detail here!
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are swollen veins that are often caused by malfunctioning valves within the vein that blocks or diverts the flow of blood and causes them to become painful and engorged. A healthy vein has valves that help control the flow of blood and ensure none is stagnant or flows backward. When these veins are weak or damaged, they cannot function as they should and allow blood to pool.
How do I know if I have varicose veins?
Often there is no pain associated with varicose veins, so the symptoms are usually only physical. The physical signs can include:
- Protruding veins that are can be either a bluish or purple colour.
- Swollen, lumpy or twisted veins
- Veins that have grown to an abnormal size
If you suffer from any of the above, it is likely you suffer from varicose veins. If you also experience aching legs, swollen ankles or skin discolouration, book an appointment at our Gold Coast or Brisbane cosmetic clinics for a full consultation so we can recommend the best course of treatment.
What causes varicose veins to form?
There are many different theories on what causes varicose veins, but many agree it can be related to the malfunction of the valve inside the vein wall. This can be caused and aggravated by a wide variety of factors:
- Pregnancy – when pregnant, a woman will produce a larger amount of blood volume, this combined with the added weight of the baby can add pressure to the veins in the legs.
- Prolonged periods of standing – by standing for long periods of time, the circulation of blood in the legs can become difficult for veins that are malfunctioning, and as a result aggravate the formation of varicose veins.
- Age – as we age our bodies tend to weaken, including the veins. It is for this reason that many elderly individuals suffer some degree of varicose veins.
- Obesity – carrying an extensive amount of weight can be damaging to the body, not only the legs. Added pressure made by this extra weight can cause weakened veins to work harder, which can result in varicose veins.
- Genetics – sometimes things are just in our genes, and it has been found that those who have parents that suffer varicose veins are more likely to experience them than those whose parents did not have varicose veins.
How can I prevent them from forming?
- Losing weight, if obese. Extra weight causes strain on the legs and is one of the major causes of varicose veins. Losing weight will help prevent them from forming, as well as helping your body in a myriad of other ways.
- Maintaining regular exercise helps keep your circulation healthy, and helps your veins stay strong.
- Relax! By elevating your feet above your heart for a while each day, this will keep blood circulation optimal and thus help prevent varicose veins.
At Ashbury Cosmetic Surgery in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, we have a range of varicose vein treatments that can help alleviate any pain or discomfort caused by varicose veins.