Varicose Veins

Varicose Veins


Varicose veins are swollen blood vessels that appear just under your skin’s surface in your lower body. When your vein walls are weak and your valves aren’t working right, blood backs up in your vein. This causes the blue and purple bulges you see on your legs, feet or ankles. Several treatment options can work, but varicose veins can return.


What are varicose veins?


Varicose veins are swollen, twisted blood vessels that bulge just under your skin’s surface. These blue or purple bulges usually appear in your legs, feet, and ankles. They can be painful or itchy. Spider veins, which may surround varicose veins, are smaller red or purple lines that appear close to your skin’s surface. Although they can be unsightly and uncomfortable, varicose veins aren’t dangerous for most people. In some cases, severe varicose veins can lead to serious health problems, such as blood clots. You can relieve most varicose vein symptoms at home or your healthcare provider can treat them with injections, laser therapy, or surgery.


What is the difference between varicose veins and spider veins?


Varicose veins and spider veins are both types of venous disease, but they look different. Spider veins are smaller and thinner than varicose veins. They look like red or blue spider webs or branches of a tree, and they are close to the skin’s surface. Spider veins aren’t usually painful. They can appear anywhere on your body, most often behind your knee, on your feet or on your face. Varicose veins usually appear on your feet and legs.


Who is likely to get varicose veins?


Anyone can develop varicose veins. Certain factors increase your chances of developing varicose veins, including:

  • Age:
    Because of the aging process, vein walls and valves don’t work as well as they once did. Veins lose elasticity and stiffen.
  • Gender:
    Female hormones can allow the walls of the veins to stretch. People who are pregnant, taking the birth control pill or going through menopause have a higher risk of varicose veins because of changes in hormone levels.
  • Family history:
    This condition can be inherited (runs in families)
  • Lifestyle:
    Standing or sitting for long periods decreases circulation. Wearing restrictive clothing, such as girdles or pants with tight waistbands can decrease blood flow.
  • Overall health:
    Certain health conditions, such as severe constipation or certain tumors, increase pressure in the veins.
  • Tobacco use:
    People who use tobacco products are more likely to develop varicose veins.
  • Weight:
    Excess weight puts pressure on blood vessels.

How common are varicose veins?


Varicose veins are very common. Around 1/3 of all adults have varicose veins. They are more common in people assigned female at birth than in people assigned male at birth


Book Appointment