If your legs are suffering from blue, red, or flesh-coloured protruding veins, you probably have a condition known as varicose or spider veins…. But how does this happen?
At The Varicose Vein Clinic in Brisbane, we don’t just treat your condition we look to find the source of the problem and diagnose and discover a solution for a more permanent removal. Our conveniently located Greenslopes clinic will ensure we focus on you, your wellbeing and your specific concerns.
Let’s figure out is going on beneath your skin…
Under your skin, your body is working hard to ensure proper blood and nutrition flow keeps your body running smoothly. To help circulate your oxygen-rich blood from your lungs to all parts of the body, your arteries have thick layers of muscle or elastic tissue. To push blood back to your heart, your veins rely mainly on the surrounding muscles and a network of one-way valves. As blood flows through a vein, the valves consecutively open to allow blood through, and then close to prevent backflow.
So how does this create varicose or spider veins?
In varicose veins the valves, which are supposed to open and close consecutively, do not work properly. When the valves do not function properly, the blood begins to pool in the vein, which makes it difficult for the muscles to push the blood up for legs. Instead of flowing consecutively from one valve to the next, the blood continues to pool in the vein, increasing arterial venous pressure and the increasing likelihood of congestion while causing the vein to bulge and twist. Because superficial veins have less muscle support than deep veins, they are more likely to become varicose or spider.
What’s the difference between varicose and spider veins?
Varicose and spider veins are similar, but spider veins are smaller and have a thin light appearance, which is usually blue or red in colour. Spider veins are often caused by the backup of blood, hormone changes, exposure to the sun, and injury. While the two are relatively similar varicose veins create a pool in the vein which creates a much larger bulge and cord like appearance on the skin.
Who is susceptible to this condition?
While there are often many factors that contribute to the condition of varicose veins, often environmental or changes to the body, nutrition, or hormones can induce varicose veins and other health conditions. Some of the more common factors that prompt varicose veins include:
- Age – Often the older you are the more common the condition, over time the valves in your veins may weaken and not work as well.
- Genetics – Sometimes people are simply born with weak vein valves which can inevitably increase your risk. Usually half of all people who have varicose veins have a family member who has also had them.
- Hormones – During puberty, pregnancy, and menopause women often develop varicose veins. During pregnancy, there is a huge increase in the amount of blood in the body. This can cause veins to enlarge, and the growing uterus will put pressure on the veins. Varicose veins usually improve within 3 months after delivery. More varicose veins and spider veins often appear with each additional pregnancy.
- Obesity. Being overweight or obese can put extra pressure on your veins. This can lead to varicose veins.
- Lack of movement. Sitting or standing for a long time may force your veins to work harder to pump blood to your heart. This may be a bigger problem if you sit with your legs bent or crossed.
- Sun exposure. This can cause spider veins on the cheeks or nose of a fair-skinned person.
Here at The Varicose Vein Clinic in Brisbane we will do a full body assessment to determine the cause of your veins and the best treatment for you.