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Why am I developing varicose veins?

This question was asked in North Little Rock, Arkansas and has 3 answer(s) as of 09/24/2012.
My legs have gotten bad in the past months. I am 53 years old. My veins are now purple and more grotesque. They are becoming more noticeable. I haven't made any changes to my lifestyle and I have always exercised. What could be causing these varicose veins?


Doctors Answers (3)

The first thing is to determine if the veins you are noticing are cosmetic spider veins or medical varicose veins. Many people confuse the two. Spider veins are small and varicose veins are larger. If the veins you are concerned about are spider veins, I have already answered your question in a short video that you can watch at this link. Varicose veins may be a medical problem. They are larger veins that can cause many leg symptoms including: tired, achy, heavy legs, and are usually caused form backward flow in larger veins underneath the skin. This condition is usually progressive meaning it gets worse as you age. The most common cause of varicose veins is genetics or hereditary, meaning you are born with the propensity to develop the problem. The second most common cause is pregnancy and the veins usually get worse with each pregnancy. The third most common cause is female hormones.

Varicose veins and venous disease is very common, affecting over 40% of women in their 50's. There are multiple risk factors, including gender (more common in women), age (increases with age), obesity, pregnancies, smoking, heredity, and occupation, to name a few. There are many treatments available today, all done in a physician's office. Consult a Vein Clinic or a physician that specializes in the treatment of varicose veins.

You inherit varicose veins - blame your parents! There is nothing you can do to stop them from coming, although measures exist to slow down their appearance.

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