Varicose Veins and Spider Veins
Varicose veins are very common; about half of all adults aged 40-69 have them. That equates to about 20 million people in the United States who are suffering from varicose veins or spider veins, which appear on the surface and give the skin a discolored appearance. Varicose veins are the result of a venous insufficiency (also known as venous reflux), a condition resulting from decreased blood flow from the leg veins to the heart, and which causes blood to “pool” within the veins, causing them to bulge.
In addition to being unsightly, they can be painful and sometimes even debilitating. Women are twice as likely as males to develop varicose and spider veins, but there are still millions of men who suffer from this condition.
There are several causes of varicose veins. You may have them as a normal part of the aging process. You can inherit them from your parents. A job that requires prolonged standing can cause them. They can also be the result of weight gain, pregnancy or hormonal changes.
Left untreated, varicose veins could lead to blood clots or other serious conditions.