“Varicose veins: derived from the word latex varix, which means twisted”
Each vein in the human body can be a “varicose vein”, but the most common occurrence occurs in veins subjected to maximum stress and tension. like the legs and feet. Varicose veins are enlarged nodular veins (blood vessels) located near the surface of the skin. They usually occur due to the increased pressure on a particular vein, which in turn twists them.
Before trying to understand varicose veins in particular, it is important to understand the importance of veins and arteries in the human body. Veins and arteries are the blood vessels that carry blood in the human body. As the heart continues to pump, it sends blood through the arteries around the body. The arteries continue to branch out into small vessels until blood flows through the capillaries. The capillary walls are only one cell thick so that oxygen, glucose and other substances can pass through them to nourish the tissues. Metabolic wastes such as carbon dioxide and lactic acid filter through the capillaries in the opposite direction. A network of capillaries works close to cells in all parts of the body, provides nutrients and removes waste products from the bloodstream.
The capillaries connect to the veins. Together, these smaller veins form two main veins that return blood to the heart. These are called the superior vena cava; which carries blood from the upper part of the body and the lower vena cava; carries blood from the legs, pelvis and abdomen.
The veins contain valves which are very important for their function. The valves are more important for the functioning of the veins in the lower part of the body because they pump blood to the heart and any malfunction can cause it to flow in the opposite direction. Most often, failure of these valves leads to a condition called varicose veins. The valves, through which blood cannot flow in the opposite direction, are of course designed to withstand the pressure in the body. Fortunately, for most people, varicose veins are simple cosmetic conditions that can be treated with cosmetic surgery. However, for some, it is a very painful and uncomfortable condition. For them, a varicose vein could signal a more serious disorder of the circulatory system. Varicose veins are a common condition in older women. Women suffer more often than men.
Research and literature suggest that certain veins in the human body are more likely to show signs of varicose veins. The veins most likely to become varicose veins are the “long saphenous vein” or LSV and the “short saphenous vein” or SSV. These LSVs are more sensitive to varicose veins than SSVs. The LSV consists of tributaries in the foot and is visible when standing, for example in the vein in front of the ankle bone. It flows into the calf and thigh and descends into the groin to join the deep main vein. In addition to the two veins mentioned above, the perforation in any part of the leg can develop incompetent valves which lead to a similar condition. This allows blood to be pumped into the superficial veins under pressure, which causes them to stretch and cause varicose veins.
There are many possible causes of varicose veins and clear answers always go beyond the medical research fraternity. The medical literature suggests that women are more prone to varicose veins than men. Its presence is more pronounced in the Western world than in the Asian community. Age plays an important role in increasing the frequency of varicose veins. In some cases, it has also been shown to be hereditary. Pregnancy, dress style (especially tight clothing), eating and bowel habits, as well as standing postures are some of the causes of varicose veins. There are many medical theories regarding the cause of varicose veins, ranging from the incompetence of the venous valve to the weakening of the venous wall. Possible mild symptoms are cosmetic embarrassment as well as pain and discomfort in the affected area. In some acute cases, swelling of the ankle, ulcers, eczema, permanent skin pigmentation, bladder atrophy or thinning of the skin and lipodermatosclerosis affecting the skin and the underlying layer.