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Varicose Veins

What are they?

Varicose Veins are twisted and swollen veins just below the surface of the skin, usually in the legs and feet.

Veins carry deoxygenated blood back to the heart and muscle action in the legs act as a pump to push blood against gravity towards the heart.

One-way valves assist by preventing blood travelling backwards. If these valves stop working properly, blood begins to pool in the veins causing swelling, twisting and darkening of the veins.

Symptoms include:

  • Aching legs
  • skin irritation
  • cramping
  • tired legs
  • discoloured skin
  • restless legs

What is the cause?

Varicose veins can be caused by:

  • Genetic link
  • Increasing age
  • Pregnancy
  • Being Overweight
  • Females
  • Standing still or sitting for long periods of time

How to prevent varicose veins?

Prevention of various veins can include:

  • Regular exercise
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Avoiding tight clothes around the legs and groin
  • Keeping legs elevated when sitting
  • Avoiding standing still for long periods of time
  • Don’t cross your legs when sitting

How to treat varicose veins?

Treatment of varicose veins can be performed by a doctor, surgeon or dermatologist and can include:

  • Surgery
  • Laser
  • Electrodessication

 

References

1. (2015). Varicose veins. Nursing, 45(6), 50. doi:10.1097/01.NURSE.0000464984.92562.3c. https://oce-ovid-com.ezproxy.uws.edu.au/article/00152193-201506000-00016/HTML


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