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What causes varicose veins and what treatment options are available?

Varicose veins is a condition where veins (usually in the legs) become enlarged and swollen and therefore unable to circulate blood properly.

The exact cause of varicose veins is not entirely understood but poor circulation and weaknesses in the vein walls are the likely culprits.

In some cases, varicose veins pose no real health problems but over time they can become very painful and eventually bleed. This potential danger combined with the unappealing appearance of the veins is why most women seek to do something about the problem when it occurs.

But what can be done? Well, varicose veins can be treated in four main ways:

Using Support Stockings
Wearing special stockings can help return the veins to their regular state. Although some women find these make very little difference, it should be the first solution you try.

Exercise
A regular exercise program involving considerable leg work, (particularly where the legs are raised) can effectively heal the veins. Many woman find the combination of support stockings and moderate exercise can resolve the problem without resorting to the more serious solutions listed below.

Compression Sclerotherapy
Compression sclerotherapy is where a chemical solution is injected into the vein to damages the inside lining, causing it to close. This effective treatment is performed in approximately 30 minutes and the patient can immediately resume their normal activity afterwards. The number of sessions required depends on the severity of case.

Surgery
Having surgery to fully remove varicose veins is becoming increasing popular. You can now have it performed in the NHS if you veins are posing a health problem. However, this type of treatment should not be undertaken lightly. Like the majority of surgical procedures there is always a risk of bleeding, infection and unexpected scarring.

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