Everyone fears developing varicose veins but it can be easy to assume that it is only an issue when you reach middle age. In fact, around 25% of all adults will suffer from varicose veins at some point so it is important to stay informed of the effects of varicose veins and know how to prevent and treat them effectively.
What causes varicose veins?
Varicose veins can occur when blood pools in the veins which then become swollen and enlarged. This is an effect of the valves in these veins failing to perform their job properly and ensure that blood flows normally. Once the veins become swollen they often protrude from the skin and have a purple or red appearance.
Overall the condition is more common in women, this is because the hormones secreted during menopause or menstruation and the additional strain placed on the veins and valves during pregnancy.
Anyone can suffer from varicose veins but there are certain factors that can make an individual more prone to developing them. Age, genetics and obesity can all mean that you are more likely than others to suffer from varicose veins. For example, the valves can become overworked as you age or if you are overweight which means that blood is more likely to ?pool? in the veins, which could lead to varicose veins.
So why should you treat your varicose veins?
Some people might think that it is easier and less embarrassing to just cover up your varicose veins than to seek medical advice or treatment. But this is an incredibly risky decision.
An expert on laser treatments for varicose veins explains that these are caused by circulatory issues so you should look to treat the condition as soon as possible. You are at risk of developing blood clots, including deep vein thrombosis, if you leave this issue untreated. Varicose veins can be painful and sore so why not look to relieve this discomfort as soon as possible?
The worst case scenario is that your varicose veins can lead to a pulmonary embolism, when a blood clot blocks the vessels in the lungs. This can be life-threatening and is thought to occur in around 10% of cases where a blood clot is left untreated.
Of course, there is also an emotional and psychological impact of varicose veins. The condition is unsightly and many people can experience anxiety, stress and even depression as a result of the issue.
What natural treatments are available?
Although the surgical treatments for varicose veins are well publicized, there are also plenty of natural options available to sufferers.
Vitamin E oil is probably the most well-known alternative medicine for varicose veins and helps to aid healing and reduce scarring. This oil contains anti-oxidants which work to speed up the healing process.
It is important to test the oil on a small area before you slather it on extensively as some patients have been diagnosed with dermatitis in the past.
Bio-oil is a popular option for those looking for a natural accompaniment post-surgery or to improve skin appearance. This alternative is made from a blend of different oils, including vitamins A and E, rosemary, chamomile and lavender.
Studies have shown that over 90% of participants using bio-oil to treat the appearance of their scars observed an improvement after just eight weeks of using the product. As many of the ingredients contain anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, the oil provides the body with everything needed to repair and give your skin a healthy glow.
Varicose vein sufferers can also use Ibuleve gel. This is a great choice for reducing pain and swelling and is available from most chemists, although it does contain ibuprofen so it is best to consult a medical practitioner if you have already been prescribed voltaren.
Arnica can also be used to reduce pain and swelling around your varicose veins. This is a low-risk, low-cost option for many sufferers and available in many retailers. Some doctors are skeptical about the effects of applying this plant extract, yet many users claim that it has greatly improved swelling and reduced pain.
Some people might assume that the discomfort and unsightly appearance of varicose veins are a fact of life; however, these are just some of the alternative treatments available to sufferers.