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Varicose Veins and the Hidden Dangers

While many people with varicose veins are more concerned with the physical appearance of them on their legs. Because the veins are perceived as unattractive, they may not want to wear clothing that shows their legs. However, varicose veins can be more than an aesthetic issue, and can sometimes be more indicative of a more serious medical problem.

Varicose veins form when the veins close to the surface of the skin enlarge, becoming prominent. They can also take on a blue or purplish cast, and can twist and take on a ropy appearance.

The cause of varicose veins is that your leg veins work by a series of one-way valves that are meant to keep blood flowing out of your legs and back up to your heart, where it can be re-oxygenated and recirculated throughout the body. When these valves don’t work properly, blood can flow back and pool in the veins, making them swell like a balloon and causing the overfilled, enlarged appearance. They most commonly appear in the lower legs, as pressure from gravity makes it more difficult for blood to pump back up.

The most common negative consequence of varicose veins is discomfort at the vein, like pressure, burning, pain or throbbing. These can be alleviated by elevating the legs, or using pressure garments.

People over 40 are at a higher risk for varicose veins. People who have been required to stand for long periods of time, are overweight, or who have a family history of varicose veins are also more likely to get them.