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Misconceptions about what causes varicose veins abound. Crossing your legs, excessive weight and standing for extended periods of time do not cause varicose veins, but they can aggravate them and intensify their symptoms. Varicose veins are actually caused by the failing of blood vessels in the legs. When the blood vessels fail to move the blood back to the heart, the blood pools and leads to swelling and the unsightly discoloration and bulging that we associate with varicose veins. There are a handful of risk factors that can make can contribute to the appearance of varicose veins.

  • Gender – Although men can develop varicose veins, the condition is mostly seen in women. It is possible that the hormone progesterone, birth control pills and hormone therapies can contribute to the occurrence of varicose veins.
  • Pregnancy – This is another factor that makes women more likely to suffer from varicose veins. The increased amount of blood flow in a pregnant woman’s body can lead to blood vessel failure and varicose veins. These instances of varicose veins sometimes go away after delivery.
  • Genetics – Right around half of the people that have varicose veins have someone else in their family that has them as well. For that reason it is possible to have a predisposition to varicose veins.
  • Age – Veins can lose some of their elasticity with age, and valves can become week. This allows blood to pool and varicose veins to develop.

Varicose veins are more often than not a cosmetic issue, but that does not mean that they don’t pose any danger. Left untreated, varicose veins can sometimes lead to venous ulcers which are painful and difficult to treat. Deep vein thrombosis is a form of blood clot that can develop from varicose veins. It can cause serious legs problems and even travel to the lungs.

What are the Symptoms of Varicose Veins?


Varicose veins appear as blue or dark purple veins under the surface of the skin. The veins appear to be twisting and often cause the skin to bulge. Some might describe them as looking like twisted ropes under the skin.

Varicose veins are rarely painful, but if they are it will be an ache or throbbing pain as well as a feeling of heaviness in the legs. The pain will usually worsen when sitting or standing for long periods of time. Experiencing pain associated with varicose veins is an indication to visit the doctor.

At Abella Health we offer a number of safe and effective varicose vein treatments. Whether you want to improve the appearance of your legs, or are concerned your varicose veins might develop further, we can help. Call Abella Health today to schedule your appointment.