Health One Family Medicine

The Causes and Treatment of Varicose Veins

Many people might not know what they are called, but varicose veins are the twisted and swollen veins that often appear on your legs and feet. They are usually blue or deep purple in color. There are several risk factors associated with varicose veins, and it is a fairly common condition. In most cases, varicosity only happens in veins that are present against the surface of your skin. Let’s take a look at some of the symptoms and causes of varicose veins and whether you need to opt for treatment.

The Causes of Varicose Veins

Your veins are the blood vessels responsible for sending back deoxygenated blood back to the heart. They do this by taking help from a network of valves. These valves only open one way so that the blood does not flow in a backward direction (this is easy considering the low pressure of blood flowing in your veins). Besides valves, your veins also rely on surrounding muscle tissue when carrying blood back to the heart.

In the case of varicose veins, these valves fail to work properly and the blood pools in your veins. This increases venous pressure and the veins end up bulging and twisting. Since these veins are present near the surface of your skin, they also lack the muscle support provided to other veins. As a result, any sort of external pressure can affect them and lead to varicosity.

The Risk Factors of Varicose Veins

Varicose veins usually occur when too much pressure is placed on your legs or abdomen. Some of the risk factors associated with varicose veins include:

  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Chronic constipation
  • Lack of activity
  • Smoking
  • Old age
  • Injury to the legs
  • Genetics

Lack of activity usually results in varicose veins because your muscles get weak and are unable to offer the support required to your veins. Varicosity is also common in old age as your veins get weaker with time.

The Symptoms of Varicose Veins

Some of the symptoms associated with varicose veins include:

  • Blue or purple misshapen veins visible on the skin surface
  • Swelling in the feet or ankles
  • Burning or aching sensations in the legs
  • Leg Sores
  • Rashes

Treatment of Varicose Veins

Common treatments for varicose veins include:

Compression stockings

Compression stockings apply pressure on your veins and help in pushing the blood forward instead of letting it pool inside the veins.


This is a form of treatment in which a saline solution is injected into the varicose vein. As a result, the lining of the blood vessel gets irritated. It collapses and eventually converts into scar tissue. Blood is then rerouted through other veins.


This is a non-invasive procedure that removes varicose veins without doing surgery.

Thermal ablation

This is a form of laser treatment that delivers heat to varicose veins and subsequently destroys them. In some cases, radiofrequency energy may be used instead of laser energy.

Other treatment options for varicose veins include vein stripping (the removal of varicose veins through surgery). Simple remedies such as keeping your feet elevated at least three to four times a day for fifteen minutes has also proven to be effective.

In Conclusion

There are several causes of varicose veins. In some cases, treatment may not be required. However, ignoring the symptoms of varicose veins may cause the condition to aggravate.

If you’re seeking further advice on the treatment of varicose veins, we suggest you make an appointment with a physician at Health One Family Medicine, visit call (469) 262-5762.