Varicose Veins Overview:

Varicose veins are enlarged veins beneath the surface of the skin.  These veins appear to be dark blue, purple, or flesh colored.  The veins appear to be bulging and twisting below the surface.  During pregnancy, women experience varicose veins around the vagina or the anus and these are referred to as hemorrhoids.  Varicose veins are most commonly found on the back of one’s calf or inner thighs.  One should not confuse varicose veins with spider veins which are closer to the surface and resemble a spider web.  Spider veins are often smaller veins than those that cause varicose veins.  Many people experience varicose veins.  Approximately 1 in every 2 people over the age of 50 has varicose veins.

Varicose Veins Causes:

One major cause of varicose veins is gravity.  The blood vessels work hard to pump blood up from the feet and legs to the heart.  Over time, these blood vessels weaken causing build-up and often breakage.  This build-up and breakage causes blood to form around the area which enlarges the vein.  Varicose veins could also be caused by the absence or weakness of valves which discourage the backwards flow of blood from the heart.  This leads to a pooling of blood and may cause blockage in veins.

Varicose Veins Symptoms:

Varicose veins are characterized by a bulging of the vein below the skin.  This condition has many symptoms:  tired, heavy or aching limbs, itching or irritating rash of the limbs, swelling, aching, and the darkening of the skin.  Varicose veins can worsen over time.  They can lead to uncomfortably, rupture of the veins, and ulcers.