Varicose veins are twisted, enlarged veins. Any superficial vein may become varicose, but the veins most commonly affected are those in your legs. That’s because standing and walking upright increases the pressure in the veins of your lower body.
For many people, varicose veins and spider veins is a common, mild variation of varicose veins are simply a cosmetic concern. For other people, varicose veins can cause aching pain and discomfort. Sometimes varicose veins lead to more-serious problems.
Symptoms of varicose vein
- Aching, heavy legs (often worse at night and after exercise).
- Appearance of spider veins (telangiectasia) in the affected leg.
- Ankle swelling.
- A brownish-blue shiny skin discoloration near the affected veins.
- Redness, dryness, and itchiness of areas of skin – termed stasis dermatitis or venous eczema, because of waste products building up in the leg.
- Minor injuries to the area may bleed more than normal and/or take a long time to heal.
- In some people the skin above the ankle may shrink (lipodermatosclerosis) because the fat underneath the skin becomes hard.
- Restless legs syndrome appears to be a common overlapping clinical syndrome in patients with varicose veins and other chronic venous insufficiency.
- Whitened irregular “scar-like” patches can appear, especially at the ankles, “atrophie blanche”.
Varicose veins are caused by increased blood pressure in the veins. Varicose veins happen in the veins near the surface of the skin (superficial). The blood moves towards the heart by one-way valves in the veins. When the valves become weakened or damaged, blood can collect in the veins. This causes the veins to become enlarged. Sitting or standing for long periods can cause blood to pool in the leg veins, increasing the pressure within the veins. The veins can stretch from the increased pressure. This may weaken the walls of the veins and damage the valves.
Varicose veins may be more common in some families (inherited). Increased pressure in the veins may cause varicose veins. Factors that may increase pressure include:
- Overweight or obesity: Being overweight puts added pressure on the veins.
- Older age: The risk of varicose veins increases with age. Aging causes wear and tear on the valves in the veins that help regulate blood flow. Eventually, that wear causes the valves to allow some blood to flow back into your veins where it collects instead of flowing up to the heart.
- Being female: Women are more likely to develop the condition. Hormonal changes before your period or during pregnancy or menopause might be a factor because female hormones tend to relax vein walls. Hormone treatments, such as birth control pills, might increase the risk of varicose veins.
- Standing or sitting for long periods of time: The blood doesn’t flow as well if a person in the same position for long periods.
- Leg injury
- Pregnancy: During pregnancy, the volume of blood in the body increases. This change supports the growing fetus, but also can produce an unfortunate side effect — enlarged veins in your legs. Hormonal changes during pregnancy may also play a role.
- Taking oral contraceptive pills or hormone replacement
Complications of varicose veins, although rare, can include:
- Ulcers: Painful ulcers may form on the skin near varicose veins, particularly near the ankles. A discolored spot on the skin usually begins before an ulcer forms.
- Blood clots: Occasionally, veins deep within the legs become enlarged. In such cases, the affected leg may become painful and swell. Any persistent leg pain or swelling warrants medical attention because it may indicate a blood clot — a condition known medically as thrombophlebitis.
- Bleeding: Occasionally, veins very close to the skin may burst. This usually causes only minor bleeding. But any bleeding requires medical attention.
In addition to a complete medical history and physical exam, diagnostic procedures for varicose veins may include:
- Duplex ultrasound: A type of vascular ultrasound done to check blood flow and the structure of the leg veins. Duplex means two types of ultrasound are used.
Homeopathy has an excellent scope for treating varicose veins. The symptoms like pain, cramping, tiredness, a sensation of heaviness in the legs are well-managed with homeopathy medicines. Homeopathy for varicose veins works at strengthening the valves of veins in legs, reducing the blood engorgement and aid in the symptomatic management of the varicose veins.
Hamamelis Virginiana is a highly effective remedy for varicose veins. Its most prominent symptom indication is tiredness or aching in the legs. Along with this, a tense feeling in the legs may be present. The varicosities may look like hard and knotty swellings in the legs. A dragging sensation in the legs may be present. Pain in varicose veins from the slightest motion is another feature. Soreness of varicose veins may also arise. Hamamelis Virginiana can help to reduce the engorgement of blood in veins and its related symptoms. Deep-rooted, circular ulcers with stinging, pricking pain and high sensitivity are another prominent features for using the homeopathic medicine Hamamelis Virginiana.
Pulsatilla Nigricans is an excellent remedy for varicose veins that are painful. Heaviness or weariness in the legs along with pain, a tensed and drawing sensation in the legs, cramping in the legs (mostly in the evening) are the symptoms highly indicative of Pulsatilla Nigricans.
Hanging down the lower limbs worsens the complaints. Along with these symptoms, restlessness in the lower limbs may also appear. Pulsatilla Nigricans is indicated for varicose veins in women when the symptoms worsen during menses and for varicose veins on lower limbs, forearms, and hands.
Calcarea Fluor is a highly recommended remedy for varicose veins. It is a biochemic medicine for varicose veins that work wonderfully in reducing the engorgement of blood in veins and improving blood circulation. Few indications for using Calcarea Fluor are enlarged veins, hardened veins, knotty veins on lower limbs. The attending features are dry, cracked skin on the legs.
Calcarea Carb is an excellent remedy for varicose veins. It is useful for varicose veins that are painless and appear only as prominent veins on the legs. Burning sensation in veins may be present in a few cases. A marked coldness in feet, excessive sweat on feet (sour smelling) and varicose veins on the legs and thighs are well-treated with Calcarea Carb.
Fluoric Acid is a valuable remedy for varicose veins treatment. The most characteristic feature to use Fluoric Acid is painful varicose veins in the legs that are made worse by warmth. Fluoric Acid is used to treat long-standing, obstinate cases of varicose veins. Apart from the above symptoms, Fluoric Acid is useful for varicose ulcers with red margins. Pain in ulcers is intense, and warmth worsens the pain while cold application relieves the pain.
Apis Mellifica is a remedy for varicose veins where there is a stinging pain present in the affected area. Burning sensation and sensitiveness on the leg may be present. In a few cases, lower limbs feel tired, bruised and heavy as lead. Swelling in the legs may also be present with inflamed veins.
Graphites Naturalis is a highly recommended remedy for varicose veins attended with itching. Itching in most cases gets worse at night time. Little pimples may be present on the surrounding skin surface (affected by varicose veins). Skin dryness may also be there to a high degree. Other attending features are restlessness, heaviness, and tensed feeling in legs. The tensed feeling gets worse upon extending the legs. A congested feeling in legs and feet on standing may also be present. Graphites Naturalis is also a helpful remedy for swelling in the legs with peculiar shooting pain as well as for varicose eczema.
Vipera Berus is a well-indicated remedy for varicose veins with a marked ‘bursting’ feeling in the legs. A pain of unbearable nature that gets worse on hanging down the legs is present. Elevating the legs brings relief. Severe cramping pain in the legs is also present. Swollen, tender veins and blueness of overlying skin are highly indicative of using medicine Vipera Berus.
Millefolium Achillea is an effective remedy for varicose veins arising during pregnancy. It works well in cases of both painful and painless varicose veins. A drawing pain is most prominently present in the legs. Millefolium Achillea is also suitable for varicose veins that break and bleed easily.
Lachesis Muta is an important medicine for treating varicose ulcers. People needing Lachesis Muta have ulcers with bluish-purplish surroundings. There is a thin, offensive discharge from the ulcers. Pus discharges may also be there in a few cases. Bleeding may arise from the ulcers, and an intense burning sensation may be present. There is extreme pain and high sensitivity to touch on the ulcer. Applying warmth to the ulcers helps relieve the pain. Itching that gets noticeably gets worse after sleeping is another characteristic feature.
Zincum Met is an effective medicine for large varicose veins on the legs. A tight, full, congested feeling in the legs is prominent. Tearing pain in the legs and formication (sensation like insects crawling over the skin) are also present in a few cases. The person requiring Zincum Met also complains of uneasiness and heaviness in the legs with constant motion of the legs. Burning sensation and sweat on lower limbs are also common. Apart from varicose of legs, Zincum Met is also indicated for varicose veins in the genital organs.
Arsenic Album is a remedy for varicose veins that are inflamed. The symptoms indicating the use of Arsenic Album are swollen legs, burning sensation, and uneasiness in the legs. The uneasy feeling in the legs makes the person change the position of the legs frequently. A burning sensation in most cases is worse during the night. Warm applications over the legs may offer relief. Fever, extreme weakness, and stabbing pains on the legs are other symptoms. Arsenic Album is useful for varicose ulcers with a grey crust and inflamed borders.
Carbo Veg is a prominently indicated remedy for spider veins. The veins appear reddish bluish. The skin feels cold and sweaty, and the person may experience itching that gets worse during the evening. Varicose ulcers that bleed easily also indicate the need for Carbo Veg.
Arnica Montana is a valuable remedy for varicose veins accompanied by extreme soreness. Fear of touching the legs is present as a result of the soreness. Exertion worsens the complaint. An aching, bruised sensation in the legs is also there in few cases. Bruised feeling in the legs as if beaten may also accompany in some instances. May also be present. The skin of the legs may also be swollen, red and hot.
When this remedy is indicated, drawing or tearing pains are felt in the legs, sometimes with a numb sensation. Symptoms are worse when the person is keeping still, and the legs may cramp at night in bed. People who need this remedy may have a worried facial expression along with digestive problems, sluggish liver function, and poor circulation.