Daily Health Tips: Varicose Veins

Q: Hello Dr. Ketch. Please what do you recommend for someone with spider veins?

A: Spider veins are a form of varicose veins. They are smaller and found closer to the skin. Most of you must have heard of varicose veins and have an idea how they look. But why do they form and where are they likely to strike? 😀

Varicose veins are enlarged veins and can occur anywhere in the body. However, they are more frequently found in the lower limbs as standing and walking increase the pressure in the veins of the lower body. This pressure may cause the valves that keep the blood flowing towards the heart, to weaken such that blood flows backwards and pools in the lower limbs. They usually appear bluish or purple and are more of an image/cosmetic problem for a lot of people. But in others, this condition presents with symptoms like muscle cramps, itching around the veins, swollen feet and ankles, bleeding from the vein, pain in the legs etc

Older people are more likely to have this condition as the valves in the veins weaken with age; pregnant women are also prone to this because as the uterus (womb) grows, it puts pressure on the veins preventing the proper return of blood to the heart. Other people with a higher risk of developing varicose veins are those who work jobs where they stand or sit for long periods, obese people and those with a family history of varicose veins.

For those who require treatment, pressure stockings may be prescribed in the first instance alongside exercise prescription and advice to elevate the legs when at rest. If this does not work there may be need for the vein to be sealed with heat, special foam or surgery.

To prevent this condition, exercise regularly (150 minutes per week is a great start), lose weight if you are obese, try to avoid standing or sitting for too long without taking breaks.

I hope this helps.

Have a good night, y’all 😀


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