What is the Cause of Varicose Veins in the Leg?
Before investing in a cream or gel to help deal with your varicose veins, it is important to understand how and why varicose veins form in the first place. This will help a lot in the battle to keep them at bay and reducing symptoms. They most commonly form in the legs and this is no coincidence, as this is where the pressure of our bodies is felt the most. It is also where the veins are furthest from the heart and to make things even worse, they are working against gravity!
Our veins have valves that help the blood flow in one direction, and keep blood circulating well. Unfortunately, some of us develop faulty valves and this is where the problems begin. As blood and fluid begin to pool due to these faulty valves, our day-to-day lifestyle then starts to affect the situation and can create further problems. So, while the original issue is a genetic one, which is out of our hands, our behaviour is still a cause and we will look at this more closely below.
When we stand, we apply pressure on our legs and this simply adds to the pressure that is already building in our swollen veins (due to the faulty valves). Prolonged periods of standing exerts so much pressure that the built-up fluid begins to cause the vein elasticity to diminish and the vein to expand. Gaining weight only adds further pressure on the veins and weakens the vein walls over time, which is why they can form during pregnancy. In addition to this, hormonal changes during menopause can weaken the valves in the veins.
This is how a varicose vein forms and of course our job is to help reduce this effect. While we cannot make the valves work better, we can minimise the pressure on our legs and subsequently on our varicose veins. Massage a cream or gel directly on to the varicose vein and in an upward motion to help reduce the pressure and improve circulation. Take a break from standing and try to elevate your legs at least once a day.