Understanding varicose veins: types, symptoms, treatment options

What are varicose veins?

Varicose veins (varicose veins) are dilated, twisted veins. These veins are usually located in the surface of the skin and can be seen as bulges or strands. Since veins throughout the body return blood towards the heart, lesser-known varicose veins also exist. For example, varicose veins can also occur in the esophagus and cause life-threatening bleeding here. This is a serious emergency, which we will not cover in detail in this article.

Varicose veins in the legs are a very common condition that affects many people. It is estimated that at least one-third of adults in Germany suffer from this condition, and it is even more common in people over the age of 50.

What are the causes of varicose veins?

Varicose veins are caused by a variety of factors such as age, gender, genetics, and lifestyle. The main role here is played by genetics and age.

Varicose veins are more common in women than in men, which may be due to both physiology and gender behaviors. Women wear different shoes, often perform other (stand-intensive as well as sedentary) professions and differ in metabolism and circulation.

Types and symptoms of varicose veins on the legs

Varicose veins are a condition in which veins in the leg are enlarged and twisted. This is caused by poor circulation, which can also lead to fluid retention and swelling. The veins are visible through the skin and may feel sensitive or sore to the touch.

They are more common in people with a family tendency to varicose veins, in the elderly, pregnant women, people who stand for long periods of time throughout the day, and those who have previously had an injury or surgery on the lower limb.

Warning veins

If there are other venous diseases, such as deep vein thrombosis, varicose veins are a regular symptom. This is because high blood pressure and poor blood circulation in the area of the veins lead to the enlargement of secondary veins. If varicose veins occur suddenly or more frequently, this is occasionally an indication of a deeper ailment. Such varicose veins are therefore also called warning veins.

Spider veins

Another common form of varicose veins is spider veins. In other languages, they may refer to different equivalents. For example, the German word “Besenreiser” refers to the old German for fine branches used to make brooms. By this, the doctor understands small, finely branched surface veins, which often occur in the area of the lower leg, ankle and foot. This is usually a harmless venous insufficiency, which is particularly noticeable in the second half of life and rarely requires medical clarification. However, spider veins are also an indication of a predisposition to venous insufficiency or circulatory disorders.

Treatment of varicose veins with compression bandages

Varicose veins can be found in the legs and other parts of the body. They are usually caused by a combination of factors, including genetics, pregnancy, weight gain, and long periods of sitting and standing. Anyone who recognizes such risk factors can alleviate the course of their suffering by using compression stockings and (in acute cases) with compression bandages.

Treatment of varicose veins with compression bandages is a technique that has been recommended for several years. This involves compressing the leg with an elastic bandage or stocking to push the blood back to the heart. The compression stockings can be worn while sleeping, traveling, standing for long periods of time at work or all day.

The elastic bandage is mainly used when the limbs are severely swollen or the skin has open wounds. As soon as such acute symptoms have subsided, the therapy switches to standardized compression stockings from specialist retailers.

Do compression stockings help against varicose veins?

Compression helps to inhibit the development of varicose veins and improve blood circulation and detoxification of the legs. Compression stockings cannot cure or significantly reduce the existing varicose veins.

It is therefore important for people with risk factors to use compression stockings in a timely and regular manner.

Removing varicose veins on the legs

Varicose veins are a common condition that affects the veins in the legs. The condition is usually caused by poor circulation, which may be due to a number of reasons such as pregnancy, genetic predisposition, age or standing for long periods of time.

They can be treated surgically, for example by either stripping them. The course of varicose vein surgery depends on what type of varicose vein you have and how severe it is. In varicose vein stripping, the vein in question is separated at two ends and then pulled out by means of a wire. This is why it is also referred to as “stripping” a varicose vein.

Modern varicose vein therapies are based on the obliteration of the diseased vein. Various methods are used here, all of which aim to close the varicose veins and thereby cause them to die. This is achieved either by injection, heat or irradiation with laser light or electromagnetic radiation.

In all cases of surgical treatment, compression therapy is usually used as described above in order to improve healing and the result of varicose vein surgery.

Leave a Comment