If you’re bothered by unsightly varicose veins, you’re not alone. This condition is very common, in fact, affecting approximately 20% of the population. Women tend to be afflicted by varicose veins more than men and the main determining factor for whether you’ll develop them in the first place is a complex combination of age, lifestyle and genetics.
What are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins is a chronic condition characterised by protruding enlarged, gnarled veins. They can occur anywhere on the body but seem to be more prevalent on the legs and feet. It has to do with the pressure that’s exerted on the lower body when you’re standing or walking upright.
Medical experts point out that although large protruding veins are not all that attractive, they don’t pose any serious health risks for most people. In fact, in most cases varicose veins and spider veins (varicose veins’ less severe cousin) are concerns that people choose to address purely for cosmetics reasons.
In some rare cases, however, varicose veins can cause considerable pain and discomfort. This can be particularly problematic if you spend a lot of time on your feet. If your varicose veins progress to a more severe condition, and if left untreated, these enlarged vessels may rupture or progress into varicose skin ulcers. For this reason it’s extremely important to seek medical attention if your varicose veins become excessively swollen or painful.
What Are the Causes of Varicose Veins?
To answer the question what causes varicose veins, we need to understand how veins work. Arteries carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body. Veins return the blood from the rest of your body back to the heart for recirculation. Veins contain special valves that force your blood to travel one way only – to your heart. When these valves become weak or damaged, blood can flow backward and collect in the vein, causing it to twist and stretch out of shape.
Risk Factors for Varicose Veins
Leading a healthy lifestyle seems to offer a protective effective against developing varicose veins. Although there are some factors that we cannot control, such as age and genetics. Below are the most common risks factors associated with varicose veins:
If you’re a woman you have a much higher chance of developing varicose veins due to a lifetime of hormonal changes and influences. Physiological events that cause a spike in female hormones, such as pregnancy or starting menstruation, can dramatically impact you risk factors. That’s because oestrogen and progesterone tend to have a relaxing and thinning effect on the vein walls. Additionally, taking birth control pills and the onset of menopause may increase your risk of varicose veins later in life.
The older you are, the higher the risk of varicose veins. On average, the majority of people who are afflicted by this condition are between the ages of 40 and 80. There are several reasons for this. Aging causes wear and tear on the venal valves that regulate blood flow. Furthermore, age-related increase in vein size may cause loss of elasticity in the vein walls.
Eventually, these two factors combined allow some of the blood to flow backwards and pool in your veins instead of flowing back to your heart.
Being obese or carrying extra weight exerts considerable amounts of pressure on your veins. This can cause larger veins in your legs (and other areas of the body) to bulge and twist. The valves in your veins simply cannot withstand the extra weight and pressure and start to malfunction.
If your job requires you to stand or remain sitting for long periods of time, you may be at risk of developing varicose veins. Whether you’re sitting or standing, blood flow and circulation can become impaired.
If you have a family history of varicose veins, there’s an increased chance that you may develop them too. Although there’s no definitive way to completely prevent varicose veins, you can reduce some of the risks. Knowing your genetic predisposition can arm you with the tools needed to prevent varicose veins as much as possible through regular exercise, watching your weight and eating a healthy diet.
Eradicate Varicose Veins with Sclerotherapy
If you’re reading this too late and you’ve already developed varicose veins, don’t despair. There are a number of highly effective, minimally-invasive options offered at Restoration Clinic to eliminate your varicose veins, alleviate your discomfort and improve your skin’s appearance. Hundreds of patients have had their varicose veins treated successfully with a targeted and proven procedure called Sclerotherapy.
Sclerotherapy involves injecting a medicine called a sclerosant directly into the affected vein. This pharmaceutical solution causes controlled irritation and damage to the vein walls, resulting in the blood vessel shrinking, collapsing on itself and eventually getting completely reabsorbed by the body. The flow of blood from the collapsed vein is then redirected to other vessels throughout the body.
Within a few weeks to several months following sclerotherapy, the treated veins will gradually fade away and become undetectable. For most patients one procedure is sufficient to achieve satisfactory results; however, in some cases multiple treatments may be required.
Benefits of Sclerotherapy Varicose Vein Treatment
- Effectively removes varicose veins and spider veins
- Quick in-office procedure that virtually painless
- Alleviates the pain and discomfort of varicose veins
- Results are permanent (although new varicose veins can form)
For long-lasting results from sclerotherapy treatment, patients are encouraged to follow a healthy diet and lifestyle. Varicose veins can always come back in individuals who are overweight or lead a sedentary lifestyle. That’s why improving your overall health will have a positive effect on vein quality in the long-term.
Contact us now at Restoration Clinic in Mt. Hawthorn, Perth to learn more about sclerotherapy: (08) 9025 3218