Varicose veins are painful, dilated, twisted veins that appear as bulges underneath the skin. They form as the result of chronically dilated and inflamed small veins that have slowly stretched under years of pressure. Unhealthy veins and poorly functioning valves allow blood to accumulate and pool in your lower legs, and the pressure of that pooling blood causes the veins to bloat, twist, and turn into these varicose veins—also known as spider veins.
Spider veins are a common condition that is more frequently found in women—up to 15 percent of men and up to 25 percent of women in the United States have varicose veins. And while for many it’s just a cosmetic concern, varicose veins can cause pain and discomfort. They are typically inherited genetically but there are also other contributing factors that can cause the condition, including pregnancy and obesity. It can also be an issue for people who are on their feet for prolonged periods of time.
While varicose veins are inevitable if you inherit them genetically (Thanks, Mom and Dad!), luckily, there are a few ways you can help manage and minimize the appearance and discomfort that comes along with them: