Varicose Veins Overview

Why You Have Veins and

What They Do For You

All of the veins and arteries in your body are there to move blood from your extremities and other organs to your heart so that it and your body can function.  These veins will carry good blood back to replace the blood that is not oxygenated.  Once the blood travels to your heart, the heart will pump the blood to the lungs so the carbon dioxide waste will be let go and more oxygen will be put in and will return to the rest of the body via the arteries.

Your veins are also acting storage units for any blood that isn’t used.  When your body isn’t active only a part of the blood in the body travels through it and the remainder stays in the veins until the body begins to become more active and will added blood to help carry the oxygen to your whole body.  The veins are able to store blood that isn’t being used because they are flexible and are able to expand to hold the excess blood.

Depending on where they are located and what their main function is what determines the size of a vein.  The veins that are the biggest are located in the center of your body and the bigger veins gather blood from the smaller veins as they travel away from the body’s center.  The veins which are located closer to the surface of the skin are what is known as superficial veins and the ones that are deeper under the skin and nearer to the body’s center are known as deep veins. The veins that link the superficial veins to the veins that are deeper are referred to as perforating veins.

What are varicose veins and spider veins?

When the valves of the veins fail to perform their duty which is allowing blood to move freely throughout the body, this will result in an extreme amount of blood to pool together and become stuck within the veins.  Once the blood has begun to pool and become partially clogged it can cause varicose veins to develop within the body.  Varicose veins are generally found on the legs, but can also occur on any part of the body.

If blood is allowed to continue to flow easily and properly, varicose veins should be of no concern.  The larger varicose veins are those that bulge out and turn a bluish color.  The smaller varicose veins (normally known as spider veins) will be blue and purple and will appear on the surface of the skin.  These spider veins are named as such because they look much like a spider web.  These appear more often on the legs, feet and ankles; however, many people do have them on their face.

While varicose veins are not life-threatening, if you do end up with varicose veins, it is important that you consult your physician to check for any underlying problems which may have cause this condition.