Varicose Veins: Symptoms, Risk Factors, Treatment, Prevention

Varicose veins are swollen, twisted blood vessels that bulge just under the surface of your skin. These purple or blue bulges usually appear in your legs, ankles, and feet.

They can be itchy or painful. Spider veins, which may surround varicose veins, are smaller purple or red lines that appear close to the surface of your skin.

Although they can be uncomfortable and unsightly, varicose veins aren’t dangerous for most people whereas in some cases, severe varicose veins can lead to serious health problems, such as blood clots.

You can relieve most varicose veins symptoms at home or your doctor can treat them with laser therapy, injections, or surgery.

Difference Between Varicose Veins and Spider Veins

Both of them are types of venous diseases, but they look different.

Varicose veins are thicker, larger, and more painful than spider veins. They are close to the skin’s surface and resemble blue or red spider webs or tree branches.

Spider veins are not usually painful. They can appear anywhere on your body, most often behind your knee, on your face, or on your feet. Varicose veins typically appear on your legs and feet.

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Varicose veins are swollen and enlarged veins that usually occur on the ankles, feet, and legs. They may be dark purple or blue and are often lumpy, twisted, or bulging in appearance.

Other symptoms are as follows:

  1. Heavy, uncomfortable, and aching legs
  2. Throbbing or burning in your legs
  3. Swollen feet and ankles
  4. Muscle cramps in your legs, generally at night
  5. Itchy, dry, and thin skin over the affected vein

Where do Varicose Veins Usually Appear?

The symptoms are usually worse during warm weather or if you’ve been standing or sitting for long periods of time.

They might improve when you walk around or rest and raise your legs.

Varicose veins are more likely to develop on the lower half of your body, usually on your feet, ankles, and calves.

They might also develop in the pelvic area, especially in people who have had children. Varicose veins in the testicles (varicocele) may lead to infertility.

Risk Factors and Causes

Many things can increase your likelihood of developing varicose veins and some of the major causes are:

  1. Being female
  2. Older age
  3. having a close family member with varicose veins
  4. Overweight
  5. Having a job that involves long periods of sitting or standing
  6. Pregnancy
  7. Other conditions like previous blood clots, abnormal blood vessels, etc.

How are Varicose Veins Diagnosed?

Varicose veins are close to the skin’s surface and easy to see. Doctors can diagnose the condition during a physical examination. They will feel your veins and examine them while you are sitting and standing.

To see detailed images of your veins and check for complications, your healthcare provider may recommend an ultrasound.

This safe and painless test uses sound waves to produce pictures of tissues inside your body. Ultrasounds will show blood clots and how your valves are working.

Treatment Methods for Varicose Veins

Although there is no cure for varicose veins, these treatments will reduce their appearance and relieve discomfort:

  • Elevation: To increase blood flow and decrease pressure in your veins, you must elevate your legs above your waist several times throughout the day.
  • Elastic stockings: Supportive socks or stockings compress your veins and reduce discomfort. The compression will stop your veins from stretching and helps blood flow.
  • Injection therapy: During injection therapy also known as Sclerotherapy, a healthcare provider injects a solution into your vein. The solution sticks the vein walls together. At last, your vein turns into scar tissue and fades away.
  • Laser therapy: In a minimally invasive procedure doctor use a catheter (a long, thin tube) and laser to close off a damaged vein. It is also called endovenous thermal ablation.
  • Vein surgery: During these procedures, the surgeon ties off your affected vein (ligation) to stop blood from pooling. The surgeon may remove (strip) the vein to prevent reappearing of varicose veins. It is also known as ligation and stripping.

Note: Generally after treatment for some days pain, bruising, and bleeding in the treatment area may occur but if you have any other unusual side effects then you must immediately contact your doctor.

How is the Quality of Life Improved After Treatment?

Treatment of varicose veins results:

  1. Improved activity
  2. Reduced pain and inflammation
  3. Improved appearance, etc.

Preventive Measures

We all know that Prevention is better than cure and if we follow the following measures then we can reduce the probability of being affected by varicose veins significantly:

  1. Avoid long periods of standing
  2. Elevate your legs
  3. Maintain a healthy weight
  4. Quit tobacco use
  5. Exercise regularly
  6. Try compression stockings
  7. Avoid wearing tight clothes

Call Clinic One Kathmandu at 01-5400400 | 9863393960 or email us at to make your appointment for Varicose Vein Treatment in Kathmandu Nepal.