Varicose veins are enlarged veins that usually occur just under the skin (superficial veins). Varicose veins are likely to be caused by one or more factors, including:
- Increased pressure in the leg veins.
- Damage to the leg veins.
- Reference Venous insufficiency.
Varicose veins often run in families. You may be born with defective valves or weak walls in your veins, or you may develop them later in life.
Varicose veins are more common in women than in men. And varicose veins happen more often as people get older.
Varicose veins often Reference develop during pregnancy. They might become less prominent after pregnancy and may disappear completely.
Less commonly, varicose veins may be a sign of a more serious problem that may sometimes need treatment. These serious problems can include:
- Blood clots or blockage in the Reference deep veins Opens New Window or Reference perforating veins Opens New Window.
- Injury to the deep veins.
- Abnormal blood vessels between arteries and veins (arteriovenous fistulas). A person may be born with these problems or develop them later in life.
- Tumors (very rarely).
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference August 17, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference David A. Szalay, MD - Vascular Surgery