Torturous Veins.

Image source here.
See these blue markings on the thigh of this person?  They are called varicose veins or more commonly referred to as spider veins.  They are simply dilated veins, containing some stagnant deoxygenated blood (the blue kind!). They are the result of venous insufficiency (meaning that the veins aren't particularly good at returning blood to the heart; in fact it's actually not entirely the veins' fault because they have to work against gravity and don't contain as much muscle as arteries do). When a vein dilates to accommodate pooled blood, it becomes all curvy in shape, or in the medical world, we call this shape torturous. My, what a name! It sounds so harsh. Oh, how lovely: I have torturous veins on my leg.

From what I've learned, varicose veins are benign, meaning they cause you no harm other than esthetically they can be bothersome. One way to treat varicose veins is to wear compression socks and to elevate the feet everyday to drain the pooled blood from the legs.  Yep, varicose veins give you a real reason to "put your feet up" at the end of the day!

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