Varicose Veins Causes & Risk Factors

One cause of varicose veins is age. As you age, veins can lose their elasticity which will cause them to stretch. Inside the veins are valves which could become weak, causing the blood to move away from your heart instead of toward your heart.

This backward flow can cause little pools of blood to form which enlarges the veins. The bluish color is from the blood becoming deoxygenated.

Pregnancy is another cause of getting varicose veins. Varicose veins occur when the blood flow changes due to your pregnancy enlarging veins in your legs. This enlargement is caused by an increase in the volume of blood flow. Also, hormonal changes will also contribute to the formation of varicose veins. When varicose veins appear during a pregnancy, they usually disappear after delivery.


One of the risk factors of getting varicose veins is age. The valves within the veins are worn and this interferes with the effective flow of blood through the vein. Once again, the blood will pool as it travels backwards as opposed to flowing toward your heart.


Varicose veins often appear more in women than in men. This is usually due to hormonal changes that occur during a pregnancy. Hormones in females will also cause the vein walls. Using hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills can add to your risk of having varicose veins.

If other members of your family had varicose veins, you will be at a greater risk for having them.

Being overweight adds pressure to your veins which can cause varicose veins.

Sitting or standing for extended periods of time affects your blood flow and can contribute to varicose veins as well.

Usually, varicose veins are not painful. They are usually blue or purple in color. They could also appear to be twisted, and may bulge out from your skin. When there is pain caused by varicose veins it involves an ache or heavy leg feeling. There may be burning, cramping, swelling, and throbbing. Also, ankle sores or ulcers may develop which means that you need to consult your physician.

A good exercise program, elevating your legs, and wearing compression stockings can help ease the pain from varicose veins. It also recommended that you consult your physician if you note any increase in symptoms.

At the Vein and Skin Center of Hawaii, we offer state of the art treatment under the supervision of a physician for the treatment of varicose veins. We can utilize the minimally invasive treatment by laser procedure to close the problem area of the vein.


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