Varicose veins are enlarged and swollen veins. They’re most common in the legs, but can happen anywhere.
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Veins have one way valves to channel blood back to the heart. Damage to the valves causes blood to pool in the veins. This causes them to get bigger. They’re also easier to see under the skin.
Varicose veins are more common in women. Your chances are also higher if you:
Common problems include:
Skin changes may result in:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. Your answers and a physical exam may point to varicose veins. In some cases, a Doppler ultrasound may be done.
Care may involve:
To start out, your doctor may advise:
Procedures are done if other care methods fail to work:
To lower your chances of varicose veins.
American College of Phlebology
Society for Vascular Surgery
Canadian Society for Vascular Surgery
Varicose veins. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116699/Varicose-veins. Updated March 30, 2018. Accessed July 11, 2018.
Varicose veins. Society for Vascular surgery website. Available at: https://vascular.org/patient-resources/vascular-conditions/varicose-veins. Accessed July 11, 2018.
Varicose veins and spider veins. Office on Women's Health website. Available at: https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/varicose-veins-and-spider-veins. Updated March 16, 2018. Accessed July 11, 2018.
Last reviewed May 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael J. Fucci, DO, FACC Last Updated: 7/11/2018