Varicose veins, enlarged and prominent veins, that often occur in the legs and feet. Spider veins are the smaller “hair like” veins that are more superficial than varicose veins. While these are often cosmetic in nature they can occasionally be symptomatic.

Causes of Varicose Veins

Varicose veins happen for many reasons such as genetics, elevated pressure in the veins and possible underlying venous disease. Most of the time, this condition is benign, but varicose veins can lead to more serious problems including blood clots.

Symptoms of Varicose Veins

For many people, varicose veins are simply a cosmetic concern. For other people, varicose veins can cause aching pain and discomfort.

  • Twisted, bulging veins that can easily be seen
  • Veins appearing blue, purple or gray
  • Leg discomfort/aching
  • Leg swelling that worsens as the day progresses
  • Tired, heavy feeling in your legs
  • Itching legs
  • Restless legs
  • Decreased hair growth or skin discoloration in lower legs
  • Skin breakdown or leg ulcerations

Risk Factors for Varicose Veins

Anyone can get varicose veins. While you can’t eliminate some risk factors, others are under your control. If you have risk factors beyond your control, such as your age or gender, it is even more important that you alter your lifestyle to reduce manageable risks. These may increase your risk of developing varicose veins:

  • A family history of varicose veins (genetics)
  • Gender – Women are at greater risk of developing varicose veins
  • Pregnancy – Hormonal changes, pressure from the uterus, and increased blood volume make varicose veins common during pregnancy
  • The risk for varicose veins increases with age (about 50% of people over the age of 50 have varicose veins.)
  • Obesity
  • Job or lifestyle that requires you to stand for long periods of time without moving around, you are more likely to get varicose veins
  • Have a history of blood clots in the legs

Treatment for Varicose Veins

There are a variety of treatment options for varicose veins. For less severe cases, self-care measures, like compression tights or leggings, can be an option to alleviate varicose veins. In more extreme cases, varicose veins may be treated with minimally invasive procedures to close, inject, or remove veins. Click here.

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