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Varicose Veins

Doctor's Terms

  • Saphenous veins: a large subcutaneous vein on the leg or thigh.

Information And Treatment

Varicose veins are unusually large or swollen veins that twist and knot at the surface of the skin.

The distortion is caused by a buildup of blood that collects in the legs, ankles, and feet. A tendency to develop varicose veins (and its spindly redder cousin the spider vein) can be genetic, though the likelihood of developing varicose veins also increases among the pregnant, overweight and inactive. Fifteen percent of men will develop these ugly veins, while this number jumps to 25 percent for women.

Vanity aside, varicose veins can cause mild to severe discomfort, making your legs feel heavy, achy, and itchy.

Age range: Varicose veins affect one out of every two people. The veins usually appear after 40, though pregnancy can cause them to appear earlier.

Interesting Facts

Hemorrhoids are a type of varicose vein.