Varicose Veins Definition, Reason, Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention

Varicose Veins Definition, Reason, Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention


Varicose veins can cause complications because they interfere with blood flow in the veins. Most people who have varicose veins do not experience complications, but when they do, they usually appear several years after the veins first become prominent. Here are some complications that can arise from varicose veins :

  • Bleeding. Varicose veins that are near the surface of the skin can burst when the foot is bumped or scratched. Bleeding that occurs may be difficult to stop. If this happens, immediately lie down and elevate your leg so that it is higher than your body, and apply direct pressure to the injured area. Call your doctor if that doesn’t help stop the bleeding.
  • Blood clotting. If a blood clot occurs in a vein that is close to the skin surface, it can cause thrombophlebitis and deep vein thrombosis.
  • Thrombophlebitis is a blood clot in a vein. The symptoms that usually appear are pain on the inside of the veins affected by varicose veins and the skin looks red.
  • Deep vein thrombosis. Similar to thrombophlebitis. Symptoms include swollen and painful feet. If left unchecked, it can lead to other complications such as pulmonary embolism, blockage of the pulmonary arteries thereby blocking blood flow from the heart to the lungs.
  • Varicose eczema. The skin will look reddish, scaly until it finally peels off. In certain cases, the blistered skin will crust permanently.

Varicose Symptom

Varicose veins generally occur in the legs, especially in the calves or the back of the knees. However, varicose veins can also appear on other parts of the body – such as the throat, vagina, pelvis, and anus. Varicose veins can be recognized immediately because on the part of the skin that has this condition, the veins will stand out with a dark blue or purple color.

Sufferers of varicose veins usually also experience symptoms, such as pain in the legs, and feet feel heavy and hot (especially after sitting or standing for a long time). In addition, swelling of the lower legs usually occurs, as well as itching on the surface of the skin that covers the varicose veins.

Generally, symptoms will be more pronounced if the sufferer sits or stands for a long time. You can straighten your legs for a moment with a leisurely walk to help overcome it. Or you can lie down with your feet higher than your body by placing a pillow under your feet. In women, the symptoms of varicose veins will be worse a few days before and during menstruation. 

Varicose Reason

Varicose veins begin with pressure on the walls of the veins triggered by various factors. This results in the stretching of the veins, causing the valves to weaken.

The weak valve then cannot carry out its function properly, resulting in impaired blood flow to the heart. The blood that flows again down will make a precipitate. If this continues, the deposits will swell the veins, damage the valves, and develop varicose veins.

Then, what factors can trigger damage to the veins and put a person at risk for varicose veins?

  • Gender. Women are more at risk of developing varicose veins than men. This is because female hormones tend to relax the walls of blood vessels, so the valves have the potential to leak.
  • Hereditary factor. You are at greater risk of developing varicose veins if you have a family history of the condition.
  • Age. With age, the elasticity of blood vessels will decrease. This will weaken the valves so that blood will easily back down and create deposits in the veins.
  • obesity. Large body weight will put more pressure on the leg veins, making it difficult for the process of returning blood to the heart.
  • Activity. If you often do activities by standing for too long, this will make it difficult for blood to return to the heart.
  • Pregnancy. Blood production tends to increase during pregnancy, so it will put more pressure on the veins. Pregnancy hormones also make the muscles in the walls of the veins relax so that the valve protection weakens.


Consult the condition of varicose veins to the doctor if the pain caused interferes with daily activities. Likewise, if wounds appear around the surface of the skin that cover the varicose veins.

Two ways of examination that the doctor will perform in diagnosing varicose veins are a physical examination and the patient’s medical history. Before carrying out a physical examination, the doctor will first collect a medical history, such as the symptoms felt and the risk factors that may be present in the patient.

After collecting medical history information, the doctor will perform a physical examination of the area of ​​the body that is sore, swollen, or injured. The doctor will ask the patient to move the leg into several different positions in order to monitor the blood flow.
Varicose veins are usually diagnosed on the basis of the appearance of the veins, so no further tests are usually needed. However, it is different if the doctor suspects complications that occur due to varicose veins. The follow-up examination that doctors generally recommend is Duplex Doppler ultrasound, which is a scanning method to see blood flow in the veins.

In addition to the above methods, the doctor may recommend an angiogram to check blood flow in the veins. An angiogram is a method of examination by injecting a special substance into a vein so that it flows with the blood. Then, the doctor will see the smooth flow of the substance. If it is not smooth, then there is an indication of a blood clot in the vein.
The doctor may also suggest an ultrasound examination to see if the venous valves are functioning properly or not, and see if there is a blockage in the arteries.

Varicose Treatment

Mild varicose veins can be treated with self-medication at home. Self-medication can relieve symptoms, reduce severity, and prevent complications.

You can do self-medication by exercising regularly (especially movements to strengthen your legs), paying attention to your body weight so you are not overweight, not standing too long, and resting by lying down so that your feet are higher than your body. You can use pillows to support your feet.

The use of assistive devices can also relieve the symptoms of varicose veins, namely by wearing special stockings for varicose veins or compression bandages. Its function is to provide the pressure needed on the muscles and veins so that blood flow becomes smoother.
You will be advised to wear compression socks while on the move throughout the day. If using compression socks makes your feet dry, you can apply moisturizer first before wearing them.

Change compression socks regularly, their service life ranges from three to months. Make sure you wear compression socks that are appropriate for the severity of the varicose veins.

If the symptoms of varicose veins do not subside with self-medication or even get worse and are at risk of causing complications, consult a doctor immediately. Usually, the doctor will suggest the following treatments:

  • Sclerotherapy, namely by injecting a special fluid into the varicose veins. The goal is to form a wound that will close off the blood vessels. Side effects of this therapy include changes in skin color, lower back pain, headaches, and reduced vision (temporary).
  • Radiofrequency ablation. This method uses radiofrequency energy to burn the walls of the varicose veins. This will make the walls of the veins close. After the varicose veins have been successfully closed, the blood flow will automatically be diverted to other veins that are still functioning normally.
  • Open surgery. This is done to remove the varicose veins.

To prevent varicose veins, you can do the following:

  • Avoid sitting or standing for a long time, change positions periodically.
  • Avoid being in positions that limit blood circulation to the legs (such as crossing your legs when sitting).
  • Elevate your legs and feet when sitting.
  • Exercise regularly.

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