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Varicose veins and how to get rid of them

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Varicose veins are a common affliction and are hated by women the world round. They usually appear on the surface of the legs, bulging and blue or purple in colour. As many as three in 10 people are estimated to be affected at some point in their lives, according to Bupa, and the condition is slightly more prevalent in females.

What causes them?

The heart delivers blood to the legs through a series of veins. In order to be pumped back to the heart, these veins have valves which open and close, pushing the blood upwards. Veins in the outer layers of the legs, called superficial veins, can become varicose when these valves become weak and thus less efficient in pumping blood back to the deeper veins. This allows blood to collect, making the veins appear swollen.

Any vein in the body can become varicose, but due to the extra pressure the problem is more prevalent in the leg region.

According to the NHS, other factors can also increase a person’s chances of developing the condition, including:

What are the symptoms?

For most people, varicose veins do not cause much physical discomfort but are merely unattractive. Sometimes, however, other symptoms can arise, such as:

How are they treated?

People who do not experience discomfort due to their varicose veins usually do not need treatment, but sometimes seek it for cosmetic reasons. Popular methods include:

Images: Wikimedia Commons

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