What are Varicose Veins?
Arteries bring blood from the heart to the extremities, veins channel blood back to the heart. Veins have one-way valves that allow the blood to return efficiently to the heart and prevent backwards flow or reflux. When these one-way valves don’t function properly the normal forward flow is hampered and blood tends to reflux backwards. This puts increase pressure on the vein wall causing them to become congested and enlarged which further impairs the valves ability to close properly and a vicious circle begins resulting in enlarged, visible, and ineffective veins.
These are called varicose veins. They can be very thin-walled, dilated and may become elongated and tortuous. Those in the skin have a spider web-like appearance and are known by various names, including spider veins, telangectasias, web veins, reticular networks, or venous stars. Larger veins placed somewhat more deeply, may appear as bumps or lumpy protrusions under the skin and may or may not appear in clusters or groups quite deep in the skin. These large areas may be quite tender and may cause symptoms of fatigue, aching pain, and heaviness, relieved by leg elevation.
Reticular veins are green larger and slightly deeper than spider veins, they sometimes can be the source of groups of spider veins.
Varicose veins are the largest blue green veins that are the most unsightly and often gnarly and tortuous. Varicose veins often have their source from either incompetent greater or lesser saphenous veins (the two major superficial veins of the leg) or from incompetent perforator veins that connect the superficial venous system to the deep venous system.