Varicose Veins

Ever noticed a traffic policeman standing  on the road for long hours?

A lot of cases come to us where the patient complains of severe pain in the legs on standing accompanied by itches and restlessness  in the legs and swollen ankles. On close inspection,dilated tortuous veins can be seen all over their legs. These are varicose veins.They are  commonly referred to veins of the leg but can also occur elsewhere.

Schematic representation of venous valve. 静脈弁の概念図。
Schematic representation of venous valve.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are two venous systems in our body; one is the superficial other is deep. The flow of blood in the lower limb is from the superficial system to the deep system of veins. And these two systems connected by valves. When these valves become incompetent, blood starts flowing backwards  making the veins more prominent and leading to complications (normally the arteries carry oxygenated blood downwards to the extremities and the veins carry de-oxygenated blood back to the heart via a venous pump which works against gravity).

The basic reason for the complications in the varicose veins is failure of the valves. Mechanism of valve failure has many theories, but the most common one is the appearance of small gap between the valve cusps at the commissures (where valve leaflets join the vein wall). This gap widens slowly and the valve cusps degenerate and more reverse flow  of blood occurs. The vein below the valve responds by dilating. Prolonged standing can put the pressure gradient between the deep and the superficial venous system off balance and is one of the most apparent and the one of the most important etiology of this condition.

Sometimes patients come to us with no other external symptoms apart from unsightly cosmetic appearance. Symptoms or no symptoms consult your doctor immediately as soon as you see bluish dilated venous markings over your legs. Early treatment of varicose veins is only conservative solution that can save you a lot of trouble later on.

Complications like venous eczema, lipodermatosclerosis, and venous ulceration, indicate advanced stage of the disease and require surgeries like sclerotherapy(non-invasive,just shrinks the vein) or invasive vein ligation.

Elevating the legs while sleeping, and wearing pressure stockings are enough to treat it in the early stages. Recurrences are common hence the patient has to be aware and take care not to stand for long hours.

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©The Idea Bucket, 2012. (Submitted by team-member, Pallavi)

Published by Anya

Founder at The TechGirl Journal & The IDEA Bucket ; Anya lives in California while working in the field of Computational Genomics. TechGirl Journal is focussed on the lifestyle of a girl in STEM and tips on how to build a business and a career in tech with a focus on skill-development, interviews, internship, personal projects, and pet-peeves! The IDEA Bucket is focused on small business ventures and practical, urban lifestyles. For specific inquiries, you can e-mail:

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    1. First of all, sorry for this delay in responding. And, as for your query, “elastic socks” or compression stockings are said to be helpful in reducing the pain due to varicose veins as they put supportive pressure on the veins and therefore, lessen the tension and damage to them due to daily wear and tear.

      The only thing is you have to choose proper stockings based on your specific needs and wear them correctly. In any case, please consult with your doctor if these stockings would be the best option for you.
      You can also visit, for further queries.
      Have a great day!


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