Varicose Veins: FAQs Answered

If you notice that you have enlarged, blue colored veins along your legs or other parts of your body, you might be suffering from varicose veins. You should know what varicose veins are, what causes them, as well as the different risk factors that might increase your chances of getting varicose veins.

What Are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are veins that have become enlarged, and usually show up on the surface of the skin. These veins can have a blue, red or flesh color, depending on the severity of the vein and how close to the surface of the skin that they are. Varicose veins are most commonly found on the legs, but they can be found in other areas of the body. Specifically, pregnant women might find that they have varicose veins around the vagina and buttocks. 

What Causes Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are caused by veins that have weak or damaged valves present in them. Your veins must pump blood against the flow of gravity in your legs to get the blood back to the heart. Veins have small flaps that ensure the blood is flowing only one way, preventing it from backing up with the flow of gravity. When these valves become weaker or fail, the blood flows backwards and pools in veins, causing varicose veins. 

What Are The Risk Factors?

Varicose veins can happen to anyone, but there are certain risk factors that will make you more prone to getting varicose veins:

  • Age: As you get older, the valves in your veins will naturally weaken, making your body more prone to getting varicose veins. 
  • Genetics: Certain people are genetically disposed to varicose veins due to naturally having weaker valves due to genetics. Some people are just born with weak valves, increasing their chances of getting varicose veins.
  • Hormones: Changes in hormones, like an increase in estrogen or progesterone, might contribute to getting varicose veins. 
  • Sedentary Lifestyle: Not moving enough and sitting for long periods of time can increase your chances of getting varicose veins. This is because sitting for a long period of time makes it harder to pump the blood through your legs back to your heart.  

If you are suffering from varicose veins, you should know that there are a number of different treatment options available. Talk to a professional who specializes in varicose veins treatment like one from Alaska Vein Care to figure out how to best manage and get rid of your varicose veins.