What are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are non-functioning veins that have weakened valves. The blood does not return back to the heart efficiently resulting in pooling of blood in the lower extremities. This can manifest as bulgy veins and/or clusters of smaller red and purple spider veins in the legs.


If you have a family member with varicose veins, there is a good chance that you might get them too


Veins become weaker as you get older. 50% of people are affected by age 50. About 80% of women have some form of varicose veins by age 80. Women have a slightly higher incidence than men.


The hormonal changes and increased blood volume in pregnancy can significantly affect your veins and cause debilitating symptoms. Varicose veins can improve within 3 months of delivery, however, they can worsen again with subsequent pregnancies.

Note: We are happy to treat patients once they are no longer pregnant or breastfeeding


Increased weight can put extra pressure on your veins and valves


Standing or sitting for long periods forces your veins to work harder to pump blood back to your heart

Sun/Heat exposure

Hot tubs and saunas can increase the swelling of your veins resulting in blood pooling. Prolonged sun exposure can cause spider veins on the cheeks and nose

Common symptoms include heaviness, fatigue, pain, throbbing, itching, cramping, burning, or restlessness in the legs. However, some varicose veins do not cause any symptoms at all.

About 50 to 55 percent of women and 40 to 45 percent of men suffer from some type of vein problem. Varicose veins affect half of people 50 years and older.

It is recommended that you treat your varicose veins in some way, even if it is only conservative measures such as wearing compression stockings

If left untreated, some varicose veins can be associated with significant health concerns such as:

  • Ulcers and other skin changes
  • Phlebitis, an Inflamed tender vein
  • Thrombosis, a clot in the vein that can move to the lung or brain causing more serious complications

Healthy vein care includes:

  • Wearing compression stockings
  • Exercise-walking, biking, calf pumping
  • Regularly elevating legs
  • Avoiding long periods of sitting or standing
  • Avoiding hot tubs, saunas, hot yoga