What Are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are visible, twisted, swollen veins that commonly appear in the legs or feet. According to WebMD, sometimes they can be “surrounded by patches of flooded capillaries known as spider veins.” Women are at least twice as likely as men to develop them, and they affect about 23% of Americans. Varicose veins are generally not considered a serious issue unless they cause your legs to ache or cramp or if they are a sign of other more serious circulatory issues. Sometimes, they can cause a painful blood clot with inflammation of the vein.
What Causes Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are caused by blood valves that are not working properly and, thus, are allowing the blood to gather in the vein instead of being pushed uphill.
According to WebMD, you are more likely to develop varicose veins if:
- your profession involves standing for long periods of time
- it is common in your family
- you are obese
- you have taken birth control pills
- you have had postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy
- you have a history of blood clots
- you have had pressure placed on the abdomen by wearing a girdle or from conditions like constipation or tumors.
Sometimes the varicose veins can be caused by injury to the skin, vein surgery or exposure to ultraviolet rays.
Disclaimer: The statements made on this page have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They are not intended to diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. If a condition persists, please contact your physician or healthcare provider. The information provided is not a substitute for a face-to-face consultation with a healthcare provider, and should not be construed as medical advice.