What are veins?

If you can picture your heart as the center of the universe for the flow of blood, then you’ll be able to grasp the concept of veins of the body.

As a part of the family of blood vessels, arteries and veins are hollow elastic tubes stretching out all over the human body like a spider web with the center being the heart. Arteries and veins are two-thirds of the blood vessels, the final third is the capillaries.

How do you differentiate between the three?

Veins are similar to arteries in that they transport blood to and from the heart but at a much lower blood pressure. In size, a vein can range in size from 1 millimeter to 1-1.5 centimeters in diameter.

Think of a garden hose versus a fire hose. The water pressure and flow from the garden hose is much less than the fire hose. You only need to look at how much territory a fire hose can cover to figure that one out.

This also explains why cutting an jugular artery produces much more blood than that of a jugular vein. It’s all based on blood pressure, or pumping pressure!

How many layers of the veins are there?

If you answered three, you’re correct. Tissue comprises the outer layer, the middle is made up of muscle, and the inner layer has epithelial cells which are smooth the exact same make up as the arteries but only thinner.

There are three skin layers, the epidermis, the dermis, and the subcutaneous fat. I wonder if there is any relationship between the two. Well, not directly, but the veins play an integral part in the health of your skin.

Do you know how many types of veins there are?

There are four types of veins, the pulmonary, systemic, superficial, and deep veins and each one has unique responsibilities.

Of those four types of veins which would be related to the skin. If you thought superficial, you’re right! Take a look at the top skin layer, preferably in the wrist or ankle area. If you see a bluish tinge, that’s blood flowing through the superficial veins.

If you’ve ever hear the term spider veins, that’s referring to varicose veins which in most cases are Veinsthe superficial veins. This occurs when the veins are having problems circulating the blood and it’s forced to pool in one area. Now most varicose veins form in the leg area but they can show up all over the human body even in the face where their referred to as facial veins or spider veins.

The second type of vein is referred to as the pulmonary veins. The term pulmonary refers to the lungs and as such this vessel is responsible for transportation of blood from the lungs to the left atrium of the heart. The blood being transported is oxygenated and full of nutrients.

The opposite of the pulmonary veins is the systemic vein. It takes the deoxygenated blood from the remainder of the body and returns it to the right atrium.

The final type of vein is the referred to as the deep vein. Located deep inside your muscle tissue, this type of vein is usually found near a corresponding artery. If you’ve ever heard the term “deep vein thrombosis”, this problem manifests itself in the muscle tissue.

So what do veins and the Mississippi River have in common?

The both can flow uphill. Now there’s been some debate over whether the Mississippi River actually does flow uphill, but for now we’ll say it does at least a small portion. But veins do have the capacity to flow against gravity.  The blood must travel from the feet to the heart and also from the heart to the brain.

How does this work? There’s a unique system of valves in the human body that act as foot holds for the blood. Blood that has more waste takes longer to travel.

Have you ever felt light headed? That’s your brain telling you it needs more oxygen in the blood or, in other words, the blood isn’t traveling fast enough to the brain.

So why are veins and spider webs similar?

This article probed into the veins which are a part of the blood vessels. There are four types of veins, superficial, pulmonary, systemic, and deep veins branching out into the human body like a spider web. Superficial veins are the primary veins that impact our skin.

Other articles about your skin that you might enjoy!

References:

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