Varicose veins are visible, enlarged veins with a knotted look to them, often appearing in the legs and feet though any vein can be affected. Standing and walking upright puts greater pressure on the circulatory system of the lower body, and the veins in the leg must work against gravity to return blood to the heart. As you age these leg veins can lose their elasticity or become weak, allowing deoxygenated (blue) blood  to pool and enlarge the veins to a visible level. Pregnancy is also a potential cause of varicose veins, as there is an increase in the volume of blood but an increased pressure of the uterus on the lower body.  Additionally, being overweight and standing or sitting for long periods of time can affect blood flow and increase the chances of developing varicose veins.

Varicose veins and spider veins are normally just a cosmetic issue; they can be unattractive and quite visible, affecting the way you dress and how you see yourself. Varicose veins are usually no more than what they are, unsightly; however, they can sometimes increase the risk of blood clots forming deep in the leg (deep vein thrombosis or DVT).

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