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Varicose veins: what are they?

Varicose veins (or varicose veins) are any abnormally dilated veins.
Due to the congestion of the blood that struggles to flow upwards from the legs, towards the heart, the tissues of the lower limbs are significantly damaged. Progressive formation of connective tissue deposits may occur in the blood vessel walls and, if the pressure increases, the elongated and sinuous veins take the shape of a sac or tube, commonly called varicose veins (varicose veins) which in 95% of cases they are visible on the legs.
The "varicose veins" are only the symptom of a disease of the veins, so much so that the severity of these symptoms is by no means proportionate to the extent and intensity of the alteration affecting the veins. Other symptoms often develop along with them:
  • dark patches on the skin, due to the leakage of red blood cells from the dilated veins, which are not normally present in the tissues;
  • a sense of heaviness, congestion and pain in the varicose vein regions after standing for some time;
  • night cramps,
  • pains;
  • itch
If the triggers continue to act, chronic venous insufficiency begins its course and can lead in severe cases to Ulcus cruris (ulceration of the leg), commonly known as "sore leg".
Varices can be divided into two types:
  • Primary varices, which develop spontaneously: primitive varices are due to a constitutional weakness of the parietal structure of the vein, which is unable to oppose the pressure increases due to standing. These varices often have a familial, hereditary character. And one of the most important causes for their formation is represented by the poor development of the venous valves.
  • Secondary varices, due to a venous obstruction: secondary varices are formed as a consequence of an occlusion of the deep veins. The leg veins are made up of superficial veins (located just below the skin) and deep veins (located in the innermost part of the leg). Both have the function of bringing blood from the legs to the heart. When a thrombosis - that is, the closure of the vein due to an embolus (blood clot) - obstructs the deep veins, the superficial network, the only one that is usable, appears overloaded, causing distention and valve insufficiency. Secondary varices therefore represent the strain of the superficial veins, subjected to a considerable increase in pressure to maintain collateral circulation.


Complications of varicose veins are represented by:
  • thrombophlebitis: an inflammation that alters the small veins and capillaries, obstructs the large veins and finally destroys the valves;
  • chronic venous insufficiency: the increasing increase in blood pressure that reaches high figures during standing and therefore increases the stagnation of fluid and venous congestion (causing edema and poor blood exchange in the vicinity of the capillaries, muscles, joints and skin ).
All this is nothing more than the beginning of a pathology that is constantly increasing and difficult to cure if not diagnosed and treated in time. The most evident symptoms are therefore characterized by the appearance of bluish or reddish “small capillaries” associated with tingling or itching, heaviness of the limbs with swelling of the ankles.