Varicose veins is a highly ignored condition • Timely treatment is imperative to avoid complications • It is better to avoid tight clothes and high heels New Delhi, 11 August 2017: According to a recent study, varicose veins are a growing concern in Indians with about 7% of India's youth suffering from this condition. Women are four times more likely to suffer from this condition than men. As per the IMA, some of the major reasons for varicose veins include a sedentary lifestyle and wearing tight clothes and high heels. Varicose veins are formed when the valves of the superficial veins of the lower limbs get damaged. As a result, blood flow from the lower limbs to the heart is decreased resulting in retention of blood in the veins. It is most commonly found in legs and feet, particularly calves. Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, National President Indian Medical Association (IMA) and President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Dr RN Tandon – Honorary Secretary General IMA in a joint statement, said, “The legs contain multiple valves that help the blood to flow in the direction of the heart. Varicose ulcer can be found in both legs. Blood starts accumulating in the legs, when these valves get damaged, resulting in swelling, pain, fatigue, skin discoloration, itching, and varicosities. This a slow but progressing condition. Although the symptoms are mild in the beginning, people usually delay in getting themselves tested, which can lead to complications that become difficult to treat. It is imperative to treat this condition on time failing which it can develop a non-healing ulcer on the leg.” Some factors that influence the onset of varicose veins are age, sex, genetics, obesity, and the position of legs for longer periods. Ageing can also result in wear and tear of the veins. Pregnancy, pre-menstruation, and menopause are some factors influencing varicose veins in women. Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, said, “There is a lack of awareness in many people about this condition. What is alarming is that this is an under treated disease. Lack of timely treatment can lead to chronic venous insufficiency, venous ulcers, eczema, cosmetic disfigurement, and systemic hypertension. Provided the patient has no symptoms or discomfort, treatment should be accorded on time. Some patients may also undergo treatment for cosmetic reasons.” Certain self-help tips can help in preventing varicose veins. • Get moving Stimulate blood circulation in your legs by taking regular walks. • Control your weight and diet It is important to lose that excess weight to avoid pressure on the legs. Follow a low-salt diet to prevent swelling caused from water retention. • Wear comfortable clothes and footwear Low-heeled help exercise the calf muscles more and are hence, better for the veins. Avoid wearing clothes that are tight around the waist, legs, or groin. • Elevate your legs Take short breaks between work to elevate your legs above the level of your heart. You can lie down with your legs resting on three or four pillows. • Don’t sit or stand for a long time Change your position frequently to encourage blood flow.