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What are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are visible, bluish veins (usually found on the legs) that have become enlarged and twisted due to damage to the valve leaflets that prevent deoxygenated blood from flowing back. This condition is exacerbated if the walls of the veins become weakened, such as through hereditary and lifestyle factors, as well as hormonal imbalances for women.

Due to the nature of varicose veins, those that have them need to be gentle cleaning the area where varicose veins are so as not to break the skin (which is more fragile in these areas, and be aware of the risk of blood clot formation. Blood clot formation includes superficial thrombophlebitis and deep vein thrombosis.

Treatment for varicose veins includes compression stockings, which help to prevent accumulation of fluids in your legs and feet, and sclerotherapy, which is performed with no anaesthesia by a doctor that injects each varicose vein with a chemical that causes the vein walls to swell so much they stick together and then permanently seal shut.

You can prevent varicose veins, even if they run in your family, by regular exercise that gets your legs moving and creates a blood pump in the leg muscles.

This includes walking, running, and not sitting or standing in one place too long. In addition, losing weight can remove a lot of pressure from the leg, hastening the formation of varicose veins, and not crossing your legs when you sit can also help prevent varicose veins.

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