Varicose veins are enlarged, twisted, and ugly veins that appear on the leg, hands, face, vulvar, and any other part of the body. Veins that are close to the skin are most likely going to affect your skin. The reason is not far-fetched.
The pressure on these veins increases with standing and walking. Apart from the pain and discomfort associated with varicose veins at the initial stage, varicose veins are generally viewed as cosmetic issues. The only danger with viewing varicose veins as a cosmetic issue is that they can progress to skin discoloration and, consequently, ulceration.
In this article, I cover everything you need to know about varicose veins, their symptoms, and treatment. It may interest you to know that I do not support varicose vein surgery except in advanced stages.
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are bluish, deoxygenated veins. They are longer, twisted, thickened, enlarged, and painful under pressure. This expansion takes place over a period of time. Veins that get into this diseased state arise because they get stretched by pressure and filled with stagnant blood.
The bluish appearance of the diseased veins is due to the presence of deoxygenated blood. These veins develop mostly on the legs. But varicosity can develop in any part of the body, such as the stomach, face, lower back, etc.
If you are interested in how to prevent varicose veins, you need to first consider what causes them. This is often how it begins to develop: blood travels from your heart to various cells of the body through a system of arteries and capillaries.
This movement takes place before getting back to the heart through the veins. This is a unidirectional movement. The muscles play a vital role in squeezing the veins to pump blood back to the heart. This is where lifestyle changes are essential.
How do varicose veins develop?
Understanding how varicose veins develop will help you know how to prevent the development of varicose veins. You will also understand at least the mechanism of process transport and also how your body system works.
Veins have a one-way valve with an inbuilt mechanism that prevents blood from going the wrong way. In the case of varicose veins, a part of the blood starts to move backward, thereby causing swelling.
As soon as the blood begins to pool in the veins, the walls become stiff. They begin to lose elasticity—the natural capacity to pump blood back to the heart. If these valves get weak, blood can pool in the veins of your legs, thereby increasing pressure in the veins.
As a result of this increased pressure, your body tries to widen the veins to compensate for the expansion. This expansion is what causes veins to bulge and thicken. This eventually leads to the characteristic twisted appearance of the veins.
They form where valves stop functioning properly. The large and long saphenous vein and the subcutaneous vein inside the legs are the common veins that trigger these twisted veins. This pooling of blood in the veins is known as venous insufficiency. It ends up expanding and hardening the veins as the blood continues to stagnate.
Looking at how to prevent varicose veins? There are various options for an effective and natural treatment of varicose veins. You need to consider apple cider vinegar and essential oils as proven natural treatment options for varicose veins.
To get the best out of your treatment, get rid of varicose vein myths
Varicose Veins Prevalence
Did you know that varicose veins are the most common venous disease condition of the leg? It is worrisome that long-existing varicose veins and thrombosis can lead to skin lesions. This eventually progresses to complicated ulceration.
Research has shown that approximately 25 million citizens of the United States have varicose veins. And these people are constantly in search of ways to prevent varicose veins. This figure has changed, and more people are having varicose veins. At the age of 60, 70% of the female population and 40% of the male population will have suffered from varicose veins.
The danger is that if this vein disease is left untreated, it will get worse. And can lead to chronic and life-threatening venous conditions. In the United States, 60% of ulcers are due to varicose veins.
One good news is that if you are seriously looking for ways to prevent varicose veins—the long, thick, and twisted veins—you can try compression stockings for varicose veins as a natural treatment option. These best compression socks are recommended by medical experts. Another natural way to arrest the progression of varicose veins is by using varicose vein home remedies.
There will likely be a multiplicity of cases of this venous disease in the future. Why?
Studies have revealed that if both of your parents suffered from varicose veins, you have a 90 percent chance of developing them. If one of your parents was affected, you have a 60 percent chance of developing it.
While the male has a 25 percent chance of developing varicose veins. This is why people seeking ways to prevent varicose veins are on the rise, but the hope of safer and longer-lasting natural treatments is proving effective. You just need to give it a short.
Read: Discover the best varicose veins essential oils.
People at risk of developing varicose veins
The University of Pennsylvania, through its department of International Radiology and Surgery, revealed that the following people—who are ultimately looking for ways to prevent varicose veins—have higher chances of having varicose veins than others.
- Overweight or obese people
- The elderly who are above 40
- Those with a low level of physical activity
- Those with poor circulation and a high level of inflammation from a lack of exercise and a poor diet It can also be from injuries to the limbs, high stress levels, or hormonal imbalances.
- Those with sedentary jobs or those whose jobs require them to stand for longer hours
- Pregnant women or those who gave birth recently
- Women on birth control pills
- Women going through menopause
- Teens going through puberty
- Anyone from a family with a history of varicose veins
- Anyone who has had a high level of sun exposure and skin damage, especially those with light skin,
You see, one of the major concerns about varicose veins is that, in addition to the unsightly appearance of the veins, sufferers have other symptoms such as heavy limbs, muscle aches, fatigue, etc.
You can also treat the above-mentioned painful varicose vein symptoms by using these best natural varicose vein creams. When my aunt was desperately searching for how to prevent varicose veins, she started using Variclear, one of the best varicose vein creams. You too can start using these natural and simple creams to treat varicose veins.
Read: How Varicose Vein Pillow Wedge can help you treat varicose veins.
Varicose vein risk factors
It is not sufficient to understand how varicose veins develop. Since the ultimate desire here is to learn how to cure as well as prevent varicose veins, you need to consider some of the risk factors for varicose veins. Below are some of the reasons blood pooling in the veins leads to a twisted and enlarged vein:
- Changes in the hormones: This is what happens in pregnant women or women going into menopause. Studies reveal that women have higher chances of developing varicose veins than men.
Female-dominant hormones tend to relax the veins more often and enhance the likelihood of blood leakage. This is more likely during puberty, pregnancy, and the transition into menopause. And common among those who take birth control pills.
Pregnant women naturally produce a large amount of blood, which supports the growing baby. This excess blood contributes to blood pooling in the legs near the stomach. This is true because of the body’s natural mechanism to fight the forces of gravity and pressure.
This type of varicose vein can reduce in size or disappear when the woman gives birth. This is why pregnant women looking for ways to prevent varicose veins need to calm down and wait a little while using varicose vein compression socks or creams.
- Congenital abnormalities of the veins
- Blood clots within the veins or inflamed veins
- Injuries to the vein. Heart disease or an obstruction that blocks the normal flow of blood
- Weight gain: There is a natural slowing of circulation when you gain weight. This is especially true if you experience increased inflammation and pressure arising from movement.
If you’re serious about permanently getting rid of Varicose vein, check out these varicose veins natural treatment options.
Other varicose veins risk factors
In our discussion on how to prevent varicose veins, here is something of importance to also look at: Apart from linking varicose veins to obesity, menopause, aging, pregnancy, prolonged standing, leg injuries, and abdominal straining,
There is a school of thought that states that varicose veins are unlikely to be caused by crossing legs or ankles. It also maintains that varicose veins can result from other causes such as venous and arteriovenous malformations, phlebitic obstruction, or incompetence.
Whitely’s research team was not left out of the findings on the cause of varicose veins. They opined that ovarian and internal iliac vein reflux cause varicose veins. This vein disease affects 14 percent of women with varicose veins or 20 percent of women who had vaginal delivery and have leg varicose veins.
Homocysteine causes varicose veins.
Scientific evidence suggests that the inability to identify and treat pelvic vein reflux could result in recurrent varicose veins. The place of perforator veins will not be overemphasized. While this might appear to be a rare case, it’s something you need to understand about how to prevent varicose veins.
Varicose veins could also be caused by hyperhomocysteinemia. This can degrade and inhibit the formation of the three structural components of the artery: collagen, proteoglycans, and elastic.
Homocysteine completely degrades cysteine disulfide, which bridges the lysine amino acid and resides in proteins, gradually affecting function and structure.
Simply put, homocysteine is corrosive to long-living proteins. These long-term effects are difficult to establish in clinical trials focusing on classes with a history of arterial decline.
Parkes-Weber syndrome and Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome are essential for differential diagnosis. A recent finding has shown that chronic alcoholism resulting from vasodilatation side effects related to gravity and blood viscosity could lead to varicose veins.
Types of varicose veins
Varicose veins exist in varying forms. They include the following:
Reticular varicose veins
These varicose veins are often grouped close together in a network and are often red.
Trunk varicose veins
These varicose veins are close to the surface of the skin and are thick and very visible. They are long and could look ugly.
Telangiectasia: varicose veins
These types of varicose veins are referred to as spider veins or thread veins. They appear in small clusters of red or blue veins, which often appear on the face or legs. They are not harmful, unlike other varicose veins. They also do not bulge underneath the surface of the skin.
Signs and Symptoms of Varicose Veins
- presence of telangiectasia or spider veins in the affected area
- brownish-yellow, shiny skin discoloration close to the affected parts
- Painful, heavy legs, which are often worse after exercise or at night,
- Ankle swelling, especially in the evening
- Redness, itchiness, or even dryness of the skin This is referred to as venous eczema or stasis dermatitis. This is because waste products build up in the legs.
- The appearance of Atrophie Blanche—whitened irregular scar-like patches at the ankles
- Restless legs syndrome appears to be a common interrelated clinical syndrome in patients with varicose veins as well as other related venous insufficiencies.
- Cramps could develop when you make a sharp, sudden move while standing.
- longer time to heal or excessive bleeding at the affected area in the case of an injury.
- Lipodermatosclerosis: the shrinking of the skin above the ankle This is because the fat underneath becomes hard.
Complications of varicose veins
Evidence has shown that most varicose veins are non-threatening. But severe varicose veins could lead to complications.
Prevention is often said to be better than cure. If you don’t have varicose veins and you are interested in how to prevent them, do your best to prevent anyone you know from developing ulcers from their varicose veins. But if you or anyone else already has it, don’t worry; with a healthy lifestyle, you will be on your way to becoming free from varicose veins.
The danger for anyone with varicose veins is not to panic. If you leave your varicose veins untreated, the venous disease will progress to severe lower leg symptoms. This could develop into a venous leg ulcer. This is a breakdown in the skin of the affected area. The venous ulcer typically happens at the “gaiter area,” which is inside the ankle.
The US National Library of Medicine and the National Institute of Health detailed a case study of venous leg ulcers. You must start your varicose vein treatment because venous ulcer treatment is quite complex. It must be handled with a proper blend of both medical prescriptions and conservative medicine.
Lipodermatosclerosis is the stage of skin change before the development of a venous ulcer. It is also referred to as “chronic panniculitis.
This means the thickening of the soft tissue and skin around the ankle and lower leg in relation to varicose veins. Once you develop lipodermatosclerosis, a closer look will reveal tiny spots of ulcers.
Venous dermatitis, or venous eczema, is one of the first dermatological signs of varicose veins. If blood pools in the veins, one common sign is the irritation and itching of the overlying skin.
Many patients often complain of itching. A high percentage of patients with varicose veins will develop dermatitis where they have the venous disease.
This is a small lesion prior to venous ulcer development. It can appear in varicose vein-affected areas. In the case of advanced varicose veins, Atrophie Blanche is the porcelain scar that arises. It is necrotic.
Consequences of Varicose Vein Complications
- Skin conditions: dermatitis, which could lead to skin loss
- Venous ulcers: skin ulcers, especially close to the ankle
- Carcinoma or the development of sarcoma in longstanding venous ulcers
- Pain, tenderness, and heaviness could result in your inability to stand for long hours or walk. This could hinder work.
- Severe bleeding from trauma, especially in elders
- Severe fat necrosis could result at the ankle in overweight sufferers of varicose veins. Higher rates are found in females.
- Superficial thrombophlebitis (blood clothing) could result in the affected veins. There are chances that this could extend to the deep veins.
Now that the foundation is laid, I believe you understand what a varicose vein is, its causes, and its complications. Let’s now move straight to the meat of the information.
How to Prevent Varicose Veins: Natural Options for Treating Varicose Veins
This is often the point where those who want to learn how to prevent varicose veins get excited. Treatment of varicose veins can be active or conservative. Active treatments are the non-surgical and surgical treatments. Newer treatment techniques may include endovenous laser treatment, radiofrequency ablation, and foam sclerotherapy.
Conservative treatment of varicose veins
Conservative treatments for varicose veins include the following:
Graduated compression stockings with variable pressure gradients help correct swelling. They also help with natural exchange and enhance microcirculation in legs with varicose veins. Compression stockings offer relief from discomfort.
On how to prevent varicose veins, the use of compression socks is effective and one of the best treatments recommended by doctors. But patients with concurrent arterial disease should exercise caution when using it.
Pneumonic compression devices also help to reduce swelling and boost blood circulation. Are you aware that elevating your legs can help provide temporary symptomatic relief? But exercising can help boost blood flow.
Varicose Vein Cream
Varicose vein creams are effective skin moisturizers and promote smooth, natural skin. Varicose vein creams help with circulation and diminish the appearance of varicose veins.
Enhanced Clinical Vein Care
Enhanced clinical vein care helps to reduce the appearance of varicose veins. It promotes smooth and natural-looking skin. And at the same time, aid circulation by moisturizing your skin. It is registered with the FDA. Advanced clinical vein care treats cellulite, spider veins, and varicose veins. It helps to strengthen vein walls and diminish the look of veins. Massage your skin daily with it, and you will find varicose veins disappearing gradually.
Leg Vein Formula
Leg Vein Formula represents a remarkable synergy of the latest scientific research and traditional herbal medicine. It is designed for the treatment of varicose veins. Leg Vein Formula is made to protect and strengthen collagen for healthy vascular walls. Leg veins, made from the extract of horse chestnut, are rich in aescin. Aescin supports and promotes healthy circulation in the lower legs.
The Best Natural Arabica Coffee Scrub
A natural Arabica coffee scrub is a powerful remedy for varicose and spider veins, cellulite, and stretch marks. It’s a refined deep-skin exfoliator because it promotes cell regeneration. The caffeine content in the product will stimulate blood flow. It will reduce the appearance of cellulite, eczema, stretch marks, age spots, varicose veins, and psoriasis.
It also contains Dead Sea salt, which will exfoliate your skin. It will also remove dead skin, acne, whiteheads, blackheads, breakouts, and other skin blemishes.
Reasons to Buy the Best Natural Arabica Coffee Scrub for Healthy and Smooth Skin: It exfoliates your skin, boosts cell turnover, restores elasticity, and repairs damage from spots. It reduces inflammation, increases circulation, and refines fine lines while brightening your skin.
Why use harsh chemicals with body scrub when you can use the best natural coffee scrub combined with coffee grounds?
Anti-inflammatory medications like aspirin or ibuprofen can serve as an alternative treatment for superficial thrombophlebitis. They work better together with graduated compression hosiery.
Topical gel application
The topical gel helps to manage symptoms associated with the varicose vein. These symptoms include inflammation, swelling, itching, pain, and dryness. A study has shown that the application of non-invasive topicals aids patient compliance.
Red Vine Leaves and Wild Horse-Chestnut Gel
Red vine leaves and wild horse chestnut gel treat broken capillaries and varicose veins. It also treats poor circulation, tired legs, leg cramps, and throbbing pains and discomfort.
This product helps reduce swelling while restoring relief. It soothes tension, tiredness, and cramps. It also strengthens veins and capillaries, thereby increasing the elasticity of blood vessels.
Varicose vein alternative therapies
An inclusive treatment plan for varicose veins includes complementary and alternative therapies. This aims to prevent varicose veins from getting worse or developing into a severe case. The best option here is to work with your physician to get the right herbs for your treatment.
Apple Cider Vinegar
You can use this natural remedy with apple cider vinegar to treat your varicose veins. The health benefits of apple cider vinegar (ACV) are amazing. It is used to treat so many health issues.
ACV is rich in healing compounds such as probiotics, powerful enzymes, magnesium, potassium, and acetic acid. Apple cider vinegar has polyphenols used to prevent cancer, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, osteoporosis, and diabetes.
Healthy dietary fiber foods are essential for the treatment and recovery of varicose veins. Whole grains are good examples. Others, like dark leafy greens, garlic, onions, and dark berries, support healthy veins.
Supplements have proven to aid quick recovery from varicose veins. Such supplements include zinc, vitamin E, and vitamin C. They are potent at enhancing healthy veins. Some of these supplements support metabolic processes connected with maintaining your vascular integrity and system. This product boosts comfort and appearance.
NatureOtics Vein Dietary Supplements
NatureOtics Vein Dietary Supplement treats varicose veins, leg veins, and spider veins. It also treats aching, swelling, oedema, poor circulation, and swollen ankles. NatureOtics medical supplement is a formula with chestnut. It’s a blend of natural and effective compounds that support affected leg circulation. It’s designed to treat natural swelling and enlargement in the veins or tissues of the legs.
Flavonoids resulting from rutin help to relieve varicose vein swelling, pain, and aching. Rutin is a bioflavonoid that helps prevent the walls of the vein from failing and keeps them in a healthy state. Rutin is referred to as bioflavonoids. It’s a flavonoid glycoside, an antioxidant found in citrus. An example of a citrus source is buckwheat. This product provides rutin derived from a non-citrus source. Rutin supports blood vessel integrity, bowel health, and a healthy inflammation response.
Oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes
The oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes are bioflavonoids found in pine bark and grapes. You can find similar flavonoids in hawthorn, blueberry, cranberry, and other similar plants.
Findings have shown that they are capable of reducing leakage in veins and leg swellings. Grape seed extract, along with a vitamin C supplement, could lower blood pressure.
Caution: Grape seed extract may increase the risk of bleeding if you use blood thinners. Good examples include clopidogrel (Plavix), warfarin (Coumadin), or aspirin. Grape seed extract may also interact with other medications. It’s safe to consult your doctor before taking grape seed extract for varicose veins.
How to Prevent Varicose Veins: Herbs for Treating Varicose Veins
Herbal remedies offer some relief from the symptoms of varicose veins. They are often available as dried extracts in the form of tablets, capsules, or pills. It could even be in the form of teams or tinctures (such as alcohol extract, unless otherwise stated).
It is advisable that people with a history of alcoholism not take tinctures. Dosage for teas is 1 heaping teaspoonful per cup of water steeped for 10 minutes. If you are taking roots, steep the water for 20 minutes.
Horse chestnut aids in the relief of symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency. This is a condition linked to varicose veins.
Herbal Horse Chestnut Cream
The planetary herbal horse chestnut cream supports skin toning and strengthens vein and capillary integrity. It also improves the look of varicose veins. Astringent for hemorrhoids, it combines horse chestnut extract standardized to 20 percent aescin.
Important Note: Ensure you use a trusted brand of the product. Homemade products can contain toxic compounds. Homemade products can contain toxic compounds. This could lead to another health challenge. Avoid using horse chestnut if you have liver or kidney disease. Or take blood-thinning medications such as diabetes medications or lithium.
Never take more than the recommended dosage. Note, too, that if you are allergic to latex, you may be allergic to horse chestnut. So, take precaution.
Pycnogenol is referred to as pine bark extract. It aids in the relief of symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency, such as leg pain and heaviness. The experiment has shown that in some situations, pycnogenol works better than horse chestnut. Pycnogenol is a natural plant product from the bark of the European coastal pine. It is rich in proanthocyanidins. This is a special class of water-soluble antioxidant flavonoids that scavenge free radicals. Pycnogenol appears to stimulate the immune system.
Thus, those with autoimmune diseases must not take pycnogenol. Those with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and people who take drugs to suppress their immune systems must avoid it.
There is evidence that gotu kola can assist in relieving varicose vein-related conditions. This could be venous insufficiency linked to leakage from veins and swelling. Note: Never take gotu kola if you have liver disease. Gotu kola can interact with several medications that the liver processes. This could increase the risk of liver damage. Gotu can also interact with sedative medications.
These medications comprise lorazepam (Ativan), zolpidem (Ambien), clonazepam (Klonopin), and phenobarbital (Donnatal).
Caution: Before you take the above, consult your doctor.
How to Prevent Varicose Veins: Homoeopathy for Varicose Veins
One beautiful thing about homeopathy is that before treatment, your whole being is considered. They consider your emotional and intelligent make-up as well as your physical make-up.
Experienced homoeopaths consider the constitution of patients and other associated factors. This is done before determining the best remedy for a particular health challenge. Below are some options that are available:
This is used for people who have painful varicose veins. These sufferers get tired easily. They have the challenge of poor circulation, often associated with cold feet and hands. There are chances they may become overweight and feel anxious. This is especially true when they indulge in excessive work. One common characteristic of these people is that they often have a taste for sweets.
This is for people whose legs seem bruised. It is also for those with swollen veins that are painful when touched. Their legs tend to feel worse with movement and ache all over; they feel better when lying down.
This is for a large varicose vein that may be tender to touch. You will notice the leg seems bruised or purple, and it often stings. One danger of this is that the person may suffer bleeding hemorrhoids.
Pulsatilla is used for swollen veins that feel heavy and warm during the night. You are going to have the symptoms worse in warm periods and environments. But it’s better when the weather is cold.
This product works without side effects. It aids in the release and recovery from rheumatic pain, menstrual disorders, and stomach upset. It is aspirin and acetaminophen-free. You can use it in conjunction with other drugs.
Hamamelis virginiana and Achillea millefolium
Note that cold compresses of witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) and yarrow (Achillea millefolium) tea may offer you temporary relief from burning sensations and pain.
Risks associated with surgical methods
The following are some of the surgical interventions used in treating varicose veins: Go through them to understand what they entail.
This is the method used to remove or tie off a large vein in the leg called the superficial saphenous vein. This is just one way of treating varicose veins. Vein stripping takes between one and one and a half hours to complete.
In the process, you will require both general and spinal anesthesia. The gnneral anesthesia helps you sleep so that you won’t feel the pain. While spinal anesthesia makes the lower half of your body numb. You may even take additional medicine for relaxation.
Varicose veins Striping involves some risks you need to be aware of before proceeding with the medical process. Before you go through this surgical process, ask your provider about the kinds of problems that may arise. The following are some of the risks associated with vein striping:
- Reactions to medicines
- Bruising or scarring
- Breathing problems
- Nerve injury
- Return of varicose veins over time
- Bleeding and blood clots
This medical procedure is an outpatient procedure developed by dermatologist surgeons for removing superficial veins through small, slit-like incisions in the skin. This has become one of the surgical methods for removing varicose veins.
You must if you want to go for ambulatory phlebectomies. The reason is simple. Just like vein striping, ambulatory phlebectomy has some medical implications and complications you must be aware of before you go for the procedure.
Some of the risks of going for an ambulatory phlebectomy include the following:
- inflammation caused by small segments of vein that remain in the skin.
- Skin numbness is caused by injury to adjoining sensory nerves.
- temporary bruising and swelling.
- allergic reaction to local anesthesia.
Information on cryosurgery for varicose veins abounds. Cryosurgery is yet another method of treating varicose veins. While we want you to adopt the best and healthiest treatments ever, it’s my duty to make you aware of any treatment option you want to choose.
Vein Cryosurgery is the use of extreme cold in surgery to destroy abnormal or diseased tissue. This is sometimes adopted in the treatment of varicose veins. Cryosurgery for varicose veins has some medical risks involved.
Below are some of the risks associated with this treatment method:
- loss of sensation if nerves are affected
- Sexual dysfunction
- Damage to nearby healthy tissue or vessels
- White skin at the site of the surgery
This is one of the methods for treating varicose and spider veins. It is a medical procedure used to eliminate varicose and spider veins.
Sclerotherapy involves the injection of a salt solution directly into the vein. This solution irritates the lining of the blood vessel, thereby causing it to collapse and stick together and the blood to clot. This method has some possible risks, which include the following:
- Darkened skin in the form of lines or spots
- Multiple tiny red blood vessels
- Raised red areas
- Small skin sores
Endovenous thermal ablation
In this method of treating varicose veins, the US National Library of Medicine explains that before endovenous thermal ablation is carried out on any patient, full consent must be sought before the procedure begins.
The most common risks associated with endovenous thermal ablation include transient paresthesias and bruising along the ablation track. There is also a report of DVT, which has a relatively low occurrence rate of 1%. Skin burns have also been reported.
This video explains this procedure to some extent.
Varicose veins are complex beauty and health challenges. Treating them requires a good understanding of what causes the varicose veins. I must note that treating the enlarged veins, especially through non-surgical methods, takes a gradual process and an important lifestyle change.
In the treatment mix, I do not recommend surgery unless you are in a seriously advanced state, in which case it means you have all along ignored getting treatment for your varicose vein. Even at that, you can adopt a healthy lifestyle and bring your vein disease back to normalcy.
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