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Venous diseases: Different characteristics

Chronic venous diseases:

Spider veins: 

These are dilated veins that are small but clearly visible veins in the uppermost layer of the skin.

 

Varicose Veins: 

Varices are enlarged superficial leg veins that emerge as bluish, tortuous protrusions under the skin.

 

Venous insufficiency: 

Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) describes a clinical picture due to permanently impaired function of the veins. Above all, the veins on the legs are affected. Typical signs of CVI may be swelling and discoloration.

Acute venous diseases:

Phlebitis: 

The phlebitis often arises in connection with varicose veins in the leg veins. It is characterized by marked redness, swelling, a strong feeling of warmth and severe pain along the vein.

Thrombosis: 

A deep vein thrombosis occurs when a blood clot (thrombus) clogs a deep vein of the leg so that little or no blood can flow through the vein. Thrombosis can be manifested by swelling, pain and reddish or bluish discoloration of the skin. However, in many cases, thrombosis causes a few ailments in the initial phase, which can promote sequelae.

Causes of vein problems

If the venous valve function diminishes, for example due to advanced age or hormones (pregnancy), then the blood flows back into the veins and collapses there. The vein wall relaxes and expands: spider veins, varicose veins and – in a very advanced stage – a lower leg ulcer (“open leg”) develop.

 

Risk factors

In terms of risk factors, experts distinguish between factors that can not be influenced and influenced by factors:

Symptoms and signs – how to recognize venous disease?

Long before varicose veins or other changes become visible, the first signs are usually noticeable: tension and heaviness, tired, tingling or aching legs – especially in the evening. This can also cause swelling due to stored water. This leads to the so-called “fat legs” or “swollen ankles”.

At these signs, sufferers should go to the doctor so that he can initiate early treatment.

Stages of chronic venous disease – the CEAP classification

Doctors define the severity of chronic venous disease based on CEAP classification 1 from C0 (no signs) to C6 (most severe):

A venous disease should not be underestimated. Varicose veins are more than a question of aesthetics: Left untreated, serious illnesses can arise. Appropriate therapy can alleviate symptoms and possibly slow the progression of the disease.

Possibilities of prevention

 

The most effective way to prevent varicose veins and other venous diseases is to consistently wear medical compression stockings with light compression (eg, compression class 1).

The investment in your health is worthwhile in any case, especially since compression stockings with proper care last at least six months. Your doctor may prescribe medical compression stockings up to twice a year if you are in need of medical attention.

 

Credits:

  • Flexikon: Rabe, Eberhard; Gerlach, Horst E. (2005): Practical phlebology. 2nd revised. A. Stuttgart: Georg Thieme Verlag.

  • Medi.de

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