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Vein Health Issues

Varicocele are varicose veins in the scrotum (the skin on testicles). Varicocele may also be linked to male infertility. If you think you have varicocele, you should see your doctor as soon as possible.

There are other related vein health issues.
Other types of varicose vein conditions include venous lakes, reticular veins, and hemorrhoids. Venous lakes are varicose veins that appear on the face and neck.

Reticular veins are flat blue veins often seen behind the knees.
Reticular veins are flat blue veins often seen behind the knees. Hemorrhoids are varicose veins in and around the anus, often painful.

What Causes Varicose Veins? What Causes Varicose Veins?
Weak or damaged valves in the veins can cause varicose veins. After your arteries deliver oxygen-rich blood to your body, your veins return the blood to your heart. The arteries and leg veins must work against gravity to do this well.

One-way valves inside the veins open to let blood flow through and then shut to keep blood from flowing backward.
If the one-way valves are weak or damaged, blood can back-up and pool in your veins. This causes the veins to swell and move above the skin surface.

Weak valves may be due to weak vein walls. May Be Weak valves due to weak vein walls.
When the vein walls are weak, they lose their normal elasticity. The vein starts to looks like an over-stretched rubber band. This makes the walls of the veins longer and wider and causes the flaps of the valves to separate.

When the valve flaps separate, blood can flow backward through the valves.
The back-flow of blood fills the veins and stretches the walls even more. As a result, the veins get bigger, get swollen and often become twisted as they try to squeeze into normal space. They become typical varicose veins.

Normal Vein and Varicose Vein Normal - Vein Varicose Veins often form in the leg as shown in the picture:
Figure A shows a normal vein with a working valve and normal blood flow. Figure B shows a varicose vein with a deformed valve, abnormal blood flow, and thin stretched vein and artery walls. The middle image shows where varicose veins might appear in your leg, for example.

You may be at higher risk for weak veins and onset of getting early heart disease resulting from your aging, or family history.
You may be at more risk from being overweight too, age progression or having a family history of spider veins and varicose veins. Higher risk is the result of increased pressure in your veins due to an overweight condition, obesity, or pregnancy. You may also be higher risk if you suffer from high blood pressure.

Who is at risk for varicose veins?
A number of factors may increase your risk for varicose veins, including gender, family history, age, pregnancy, overweight or obesity and a lack of exercise.

Family History.
Having family members who have varicose veins may raise your risk for the condition. About half of all people who have varicose veins have a family history of them.

Getting older puts you at higher risk for getting varicose veins. Normal wear-and-tear of the aging process may cause valves in your veins to weaken and not work well.

Women tend to get varicose veins more often than men. Hormonal changes that occur during puberty, pregnancy, menopause, or with the use of birth control pills may raise a woman's chances of getting varicose veins.

During pregnancy, the growing fetus puts pressure on the veins in the legs. Varicose veins that occur during pregnancy usually get better within 3 to 12 months of baby delivery.

Overweight or Obesity.
Being overweight or obese can put extra pressure on your veins. This can lead to varicose veins.

Lack of Movement Lack of Movement.
Standing or sitting for a long time, especially with your legs bent or crossed, may raise your risk for varicose veins. This is because staying in one position for a long time may force your veins to work harder to pump blood to your heart.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Varicose Veins?
The signs and symptoms of varicose veins are fairly easy to determine, they include large looking veins.

Large veins that you can see on your skin.
Mild swelling of your ankles and feet. Painful, achy, or "heavy" legs. Throbbing or cramping in your legs. Itchy legs, especially on the lower leg and ankle. This is often wrongly diagnosed sometimes as dry skin or discolored skin in the area around the varicose vein.

Signs of telangiectasias are red clusters of veins you can see on your skin.
Signs of red spider veins are clusters of veins that you can see on your skin. They're usually found on the upper body, including the face. Signs of spider veins are red or blue veins in a web pattern that often show up on the legs and face.

See your doctor if you have these signs and symptoms.
It's important you see a doctor if you have certain signs and symptoms. They also may be signs of other, sometimes more serious conditions.

Sometimes varicose veins can lead to dermatitis (der-ma-TI-tis), an itchy rash. If you have varicose veins in your legs, dermatitis may affect your lower leg or ankle. Skin dermatitis can cause serious bleeding or skin ulcers if the skin is scratched or somehow irritated.

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