Varicose veins are most often swollen, gnarled veins that most frequently occur in the legs, ankles and feet. Varicose veins are veins with incompetent valves which are elongated, dilated, tortuous, pouched and thickened. They are produced by a condition known as venous insufficiency or venous reflux, in which blood circulating through the lower limbs does not properly return to the heart but instead pools up in the distended veins.
In veins that function normally, blood flows to the heart and valves within the vein prevent the blood from flowing backward. A varicose vein occurs when the valves do not completely seal and blood begins to seep back the other way. Blood pools in the vein, increasing venous pressure and weakening the vein wall. Over time, this causes leg swelling and permutation of the superficial vein.
While there is no way to completely prevent varicose veins and other venous diseases, you can make some measures to help drive optimum vein health. Be active. Low to moderate impact aerobic activity such as walking, cycling, jogging and swimming are easy ways to get blood flowing and improve circulation. If you are experiencing some mild symptoms already, the use of compression hose can prevent blood from pooling in the leg veins.
Spider veins, also known medically as telangiectasias or venulactasias, are the mildest manifestation of venous insufficiency. They are small, often tangled groups of tiny blood vessels that appear as thin veins visible below the surface of the skin. They are generally red, blue or purple and typically appear on thighs, lower legs and the face. As their name suggests, they usually appear in a pattern similar to a spider web or tree branches. Spider veins can sometimes cover a large area of skin, but are a cosmetic issue that rarely cause physical symptoms. Nearly one-third of women and a quarter of the male population have spider veins on their body.
Spider veins are thin vessels directly connected with the larger venous system, and like varicose veins are caused by venous reflux. Spider veins may be isolated or associated with "feeder" veins or or with larger, underlying varicose veins. They are easily diagnosed and typically have one of 3 Distinct Patterns: Sunburst or Spider Web from a central point, a tree-branch pattern, or a more linear grouping of singular lines known as "matting." Even in the absence of physical discomfort, it is important to find the source of the issue. Dr. Simon takes great care to address stopping the development of new spider veins then addressing the cosmetic solution for existing clusters.
While they are not preventable, there are some measures that you can take to help aid in healthy blood flow. Exercise, weight loss, the use of compression hose and wearing flat shoes are thought to reduce the instance of spider veins. Treatments are non-invasive or minimally invasive and require very little recovery time.
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