A Patient's Guide to Varicose Veins

If you’ve noticed the appearance of enlarged and twisted veins just under the surface of your skin, you have varicose veins. This common condition can be extremely embarrassing. However, varicose veins are more than just a cosmetic concern; they can also indicate a medical problem.


Varicose veins most often appear in the legs. This is because your veins lack a pumping mechanism to move blood up your legs. Instead, blood is propelled upward when the muscles in your legs contract. Blood is prevented from flowing backward with a series of valves in the veins. Varicose veins occur when there is a problem with these valves. This causes the accumulation of blood, creating an enlarged vein. There are numerous risk factors that can increase your chances of developing this cosmetic problem. You are at an increased risk if a family member has varicose veins, if you are overweight or obese, or if y