What Causes Varicose Veins?

By albert
Reviewed: Dr. Gromatzky
Mar 4, 2020
Medical Expert Medical Expert

Ideally, blood flows through the body supplying oxygen, nutrients, and actively removing toxins from the system through an intricate circulatory system made up of veins and arteries of varying sizes. However, in certain instances, the system is compromised such that the one-way valves that prevent backward flow fails and blood begins to collect in veins rather than moving onward toward the heart.

This leads to an increase in internal pressure, which causes the veins to enlarge. The condition mainly affects veins that are farthest from the heart since gravity makes upward flow of blood difficult. Twisting, swelling, and bulging may also occur and make the veins visible under the skin. This condition is called varicose veins. Varicose veins are twice as likely to occur in females than in males.

1. Symptoms of Varicose Veins

The veins of the legs become misshapen and visible as a primary symptom of varicose veins. The enlarged veins may also become swollen, painful, and heavy, especially at night or after exercise. In severe forms, bleeding and ulceration may occur. The skin just above the ankle has fat that becomes hard, leading to shrinking of the skin, a condition referred to as lipodermatosclerosis. Spider veins, also called telangiectasia, appear in the affected leg and the skin around the varicose vein acquire a shiny discoloration that is usually bluish or brownish. Skin may also become dry, itchy, and red; a condition referred to as stasis dermatitis or venous eczema. Leg cramps may occur when a patient suddenly gets on their feet. Additionally, many people with varicose veins experience restless leg syndrome.

Varicose Veins

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