Veins, arteries, blood and the heart make up the components of the most important system in the body: the circulatory system or cardiovascular system. This system of organs has one main job: to properly circulate blood through the body to keep us healthy and our bodies functioning at its best.
Veins and arteries have a similar function, but ultimately are responsible for different aspects of blood circulation. Arteries look like tubes, and their main job is to transport fluids to and from all of the organs in the body. For the circulatory system, they transport blood from the heart to the rest of the body. The pulmonary artery carries deoxygenated blood from the heart to the lungs for oxygenation, and from there, arteries deliver it to the organs.
So whereas arteries are responsible for bringing blood away from the heart, veins bring the blood back to the heart. Arteries tube-like structure allows for blood to flow through them in either direction, but veins only allow blood to travel in one direction: back up to the heart. Picture it like this: once the blood enters the vein, there is a door behind it that closes so that the blood cannot go back where it came from. Inside the veins are valves that assist the blood in its journey upward to the heart. When there is inadequate blood flow and circulation in the body or pressure on the veins, the valves can become damaged. If those valves are damaged, they will not be able to do their job to help blood fight gravity to flow in the right direction. Then the blood has nowhere to go, so it falls back down and begins to pool at the bottom of the vein. This causes an increase of pressure on the vein, which can result in spider veins and varicose veins and lead to other conditions such as blood clotting and additional venous diseases.
While poor blood circulation is a main cause for damaged veins, the real question is what is causing the lack of proper blood flow. It is usually because either there has been some kind of trauma to the body, or there is an excess of pressure on the veins themselves, such as in the case of obesity or pregnancy.
In order to decrease the risk or prevent the development of varicose veins, it’s important to do what you can to increase blood flow and circulation throughout the body. Stay hydrated; water is crucial for circulation. Keep your body moving; even just a ten minute walk can help. Don’t stay in the same position for long periods of time. If you have to sit at a desk all day for work, take a break every 30 minutes or so to get up and walk around and stretch your limbs. The same goes for standing. Standing for long periods of time puts a lot of pressure on the veins in the legs and feet. Take breaks every half hour to sit or lie down, and stretch out.
The symptoms associated with varicose veins are often painful and very uncomfortable. People suffering from varicose veins will usually experience things like swelling, achiness, tenderness, excess itching or sometimes even bleeding in the skin around the affected vein. Left untreated, varicose veins can develop into more serious conditions, so they should not be ignored. There are a lot of treatment options available for varicose veins, many of which are either minimally or non invasive and require no downtime at all. Treatments are comfortable and usually pretty quick, so patients can go back to their regular daily activities without too much of an interruption.
Spider veins do not always come with the same uncomfortable side effects as varicose veins, and are typically mainly a cosmetic concern. There are treatment options for these smaller, superficial spider veins as well that also are quick, comfortable and have no downtime involved.
Spider veins and varicose veins can be seen beneath the surface of the skin and will usually look purple or blue. The skin on the back of the hands is thin, and gets even thinner as you age, so it is likely that you can see veins under the skin. People with lighter skin color may also be able to see their veins more prominent than someone with a darker skin tone.
You may notice that the veins look green and wonder what are green veins doing under the skin if blood is red.
It’s all about perception. When you see green veins on hands, you are not actually seeing green veins. It is because the color green has a shorter wavelength than the true color of blood: red. Color is basically light on a spectrum, and the colors we see depend on where it is on that spectrum. It depends on the color’s wavelength, frequency and the amount of light energy it emits. We see color based on how it is reflected through other objects, and how other colors are absorbed by those objects. Red has the longest wavelength, lowest frequency and least energy, whereas green has a much shorter wavelength and more energy. It is easier for us to see through the skin because the red light energy has been absorbed by the layers of skin and tissue between the veins and how we see them.
All this basically means is that green veins are no real cause for concern, and they are not damaging or harming the body. However, if you start to experience additional symptoms in the same general area as the veins on hands you are now seeing, it could be a sign that there is something else going on with those veins.
If you start to feel any pain, itching, tingling or cramping in the area, or it starts to swell or look inflamed, contact a vein specialist who can look into your condition and determine if treatment is needed.
Treatment for green veins depends on whether or not there is a venous condition that needs attention and how severe the problem is. One of the most common, comfortable and effective treatment options for veins is sclerotherapy, which involves the injection of a medicated solution directly into the affected vein to shut it down so the blood can reroute to healthy veins. The treated vein will eventually be naturally discarded by the body, and new tissue will grow in its place.
If you notice green veins on your hands and are also experiencing any pain or inflammation in the area, schedule a consultation with our team at Fox Vein & Laser Experts so we can determine the best treatment plan for you. Call our office at 954-627-1045 to book an appointment.
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Disclaimer: Fox Vein & Laser Experts is owned by Dr. Susan Fox, DABVLM, D.O., RPVI, FSVM and makes the best effort to treat your vein problems. The vein treatment results may vary for an individual patient based on the diseases and problems. Fox Vein & Laser Experts does not guarantee that you will experience the same results as highlighted in ‘before and after’ pictures and as shared in testimonials.