Varicose Veins


Varicose veins are visible, protruding veins that appear just under the skin. They may occur in clusters that look like spider webs, or be large, single veins that are easily observed. They’re most often seen on people’s legs, especially their calves, and are made up of stretched, expanded, or twisted veins in which the flow of blood has been reversed. Varicose veins are the most common disorder in the lower part of the body. They affect 10-20% of the population, and appear between the ages of 30 and 70. They usually get progressively worse.


The most common symptoms associated with varicose veins include:

  • Aching, cramping at night, and a feeling of fullness in the veins. May become worse before after standing for a long time.
  • Development of ulcerations around the affected veins – sometimes among older people whose skin has become very thin.
  • Eczema and discoloured skin in the area around the affected veins can also occur.

The most common causes of varicose veins include:

  • The valves that push blood through the varicose veins stop working properly, causing blood to pool in the veins. The veins then expand and the blood in them begins flowing in reverse.
  • Veins that are naturally weak – a condition that could be inherited.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Standing for long periods of time.
  • Obesity.
  • Advancing age.