Varicose veins – those ugly wriggly things that are on so many over 60’s legs – are one of the more upsetting parts of ageing. What were once beautiful, enviable pins can feel destroyed by the appearance of bulging blue lines all along them. Plenty over 60 men and women suffer from these unattractive and unsightly veins, but what is the cause, and how can you treat them?
There are twisted, widened, darkish-blue veins that sit just underneath the skin of our legs, and are not to be confused with spider veins. Blood usually flows from smaller veins in the legs and then deeper, then to the heart but there are some one-way valves in between to stop blood going backwards. These valves can become faulty and blood goes back in, making them swollen, blue and visible varicose veins.
Usually, no treatment is needed if you have varicose veins and you don’t need to see a doctor unless there is swelling or inflammation in the area.
A doctor will usually recommend that you don’t do anything to your varicose veins but if you are suffering from severe symptoms, surgery might be recommended. If a vein is removed or closed, there usually isn’t a problem because blood will divert to another vein. Some side effects are bruising, swelling, skin discolouration and mild pain – some would argue this is nothing compared to the embarrassment of having the veins and the quality of life it will bring to see them go.
If you have unsightly veins but would prefer to avoid surgery or treatment, you can wear support stockings that lift the leg veins.
Do you have varicose veins? What have you done to treat them? Have they affected your confidence?