What are varicose veins?

Varicose veins are swollen twisted veins that occur on the back of the legs. You get rid of varicose veins with lifestyle changes, compression therapy, medications or surgery.
Varicose veins are swollen twisted veins that occur on the back of the legs. You get rid of varicose veins with lifestyle changes, compression therapy, medications or surgery.

Varicose veins are swollen veins that are twisted. They may occur at the back of your legs or they can exist as hemorrhoids in your anus. Varicose veins of the legs are the most common. You can see them under your skin.

Signs and symptoms of varicose veins

The most common symptoms of varicose veins include.

  • Sores on your legs
  • Skin color changes where the varicose veins are
  • A rash
  • Pain or a burning sensation on the affected leg
  • A heavy feeling on your leg

These symptoms are the most common. You may experience these as well as others.

Main causes of varicose veins

Varicose veins develop when the small valves inside your veins stop working properly. If the valves weaken or are damaged, the blood can flow backward and collect in your vein. This eventually causes it to swell and become varicose, which means enlarged.

Who can get varicose veins?

  • Pregnant women: If you are pregnant, it is not uncommon to develop varicose veins. They are usually a harmless part of being pregnant. Varicose veins develop in some women when the womb puts a lot of pressure on the inferior vena cava. This vein carries the blood from your legs back to your heart.
  • Family members: You may get varicose veins if your mother or grandmother had them. There is nothing you can do to prevent this from happening if you have a family history of varicose veins.
  • Older people: People of an advanced age are at a higher risk of getting varicose veins. This is because as you get older, your veins lose elasticity. Your valves simply do not work as well as they used to.
  • Obese people: If you are overweight, your body puts a lot of pressure on your veins. This makes it harder for them to pump blood to your heart. Your valves may be unable to manage the pressure, causing them to leak and your veins to swell.

Diagnosis for varicose veins

Only a licensed healthcare professional can diagnose varicose veins. Your doctor will request your medical history and a physical examination in order to make a diagnosis. 

They may also conduct a doppler ultrasound to check your blood flow and the structure of your leg veins.

Treatments for varicose veins 

Depending on the condition you are in, your doctor may recommend no treatment or a combination of different treatment methods. Treatment for varicose veins includes.

  • Lifestyle changes
  • Compression therapy
  • Medicines
  • Surgical procedure to close or remove the varicose vein

If you are pregnant, your doctor may recommend a combination of compression therapy and pain medication to manage your symptoms. Pain and the heaviness of the legs are the most common.

Alternative therapies

The following self-care and therapy methods can help to prevent you from developing new varicose veins:

  • If you are seated, get up and walk around every 30 minutes
  • If you are standing, take a break every 30 minutes
  • Elevate your legs
  • Avoid soaking in hot baths for long periods of time

Note that these preventative techniques will probably not eliminate your existing varicose veins.

Risks/dangers/complications, side effects of treatments

In most cases, varicose veins do not cause serious complications. You might have them for years without developing a complication. This means that you need urgent medical help if your condition suddenly worsens.  

Varicose veins prevent your blood from flowing properly. This potentially poses a great risk to your health. If varicose veins are left untreated for a long period, they can develop into complications including:

  • Blood clots: If blood clots start forming in your veins, they might cause serious life-threatening conditions like thrombophlebitis, the swelling of veins in your leg.
  • Deep vein thrombosis may cause you pain and leg swelling. This can ultimately lead to another complication, pulmonary embolism.
  • Bleeding: Since the varicose veins affected are only a small distance from the surface of your skin, they can bleed if you cut or injure your leg. This can become a medical emergency, as the bleeding might be difficult to stop. 

In some cases, you might experience other complications like rashes, infections, and sores.


An average adult has about ________ square feet of skin. See Answer

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Medically Reviewed on 2/5/2021

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