What are varicose veins?

Varicose veins are a common problem that mainly affects the legs, although they can develop elsewhere. The veins become more prominent, showing through your skin as blue or purple lines and loops. As they worsen, the loops start to twist and bulge out from the skin.

Some people develop varicose veins that don’t cause any symptoms, apart from looking unsightly. However, many people find varicose veins make their legs ache and feel uncomfortable. The veins might start itching or feel tender, and they can become ulcerous long term, meaning you develop open sores that are difficult to heal.

Severe varicose veins can form blood clots that can lead to thrombosis, or even pulmonary embolism if a clot breaks away and travels to your lungs.

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Commonly asked questions about varicose veins:

What causes varicose veins?

Varicose veins develop when the valves inside your veins stop working as they should. The valves are meant to keep blood flowing from your veins back to your heart. If they aren’t working correctly, blood can build up, trickling back up the vein and pooling, causing the vein to swell.

The more blood that pools in the veins, the more they swell and bulge, and the more likely they are to cause you discomfort.

How are varicose veins treated?

When you start to see varicose veins developing, it’s important to take action to prevent them from getting any worse. Start by exercising more and losing weight if you need to, which takes the pressure off your veins and improves circulation. You can also get compression stockings to wear that help by squeezing the blood back in the right direction.

If your varicose veins make your legs hurt or otherwise bother you, the team at Tinsley Surgical provides advanced, minimally invasive treatments, including:

Foam sclerotherapy

Laser therapy

Find out more about these cutting-edge treatments for varicose veins.