Varicose veins

What is it ?

Reflux SanguinVaricose veins are superficial veins in which the blood flows backwards through the circulatory system : this is called a venous reflux or incontinence.

Theses veins look bluish, dilated and distorted, an can be more or less protruding. In 95% of cases, varicosities affect superficial leg veins : the short and great saphenous veins.

Causes of varicose veins

People who have varicose veins suffer from chronic venous insufficiency : their venous system struggles in making the blood return to the heart.

The causes are :

- Weakness of valves that are supposed to make the blood flow one-way non-return

- Deterioration of veins walls

- Legs’ small muscular tone

First signs of varicose veins

- Pains, tingling, and feeling of heaviness in the legs

- Calf cramps and swollen ankles and feet
- Varicosities : very small veins looking like spider webs on the skin
- Bluish, dilated and distorted veins, mostly all along the legs


Varicose veins can lead to more or less serious complications : 

Favoring and aggravating factors for varicose veins

- Family health history (varicose vein is the most frequent genetical illness)
- Multiple pregnancies
- Obesity
- Working in a standing position
- Sedentariness
- Sitting still for long periods
- Frequent exposition to heat (sunbathing, very warm baths, saunas, steam rooms, etc...)

Prevent the aggravation of varicose veins


- Elevating the legs as often as possible, move feet and ankles
- Move and frequently vary the posture (especially during trips)

- Physical exercise on a frequent and regular basis (walking, swimming, biking...)

Jambes Surélevées


- Apply cold water on the legs at bedtime, especially by high heat or in floor-heated homes
- Avoid sources of heat

Bas de contentionClothing

- Avoid tight clothes
- Wear low-heeled shoes
- Wear special compression stockings


- Reduce consumption of salt to prevent water retention

The treatment of varicose veins

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