How varicose veins form
It is the veins that lie outside the muscle, not the deep veins, that become varicose. There are two theories about how varicose veins form and perhaps both are true.
Symptoms of varicose veins
- They look ugly, because the affected veins are just below the skin, and the enlarged and twisted portions are very obvious.
- The pools of non-circulating blood cause symptoms.
- Bad varicose veins over many years can damage the skin near the ankle, causing eczema the skin becomes stained brownish-black, and ulcers may occur which are difficult to heal.
Written by: Dr Margaret Stearn
Edited by: Dr Margaret Stearn
Last updated: Friday, February 26th 2010
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Varicose simply means swollen
Varicose veins are the price we pay for our upright posture; if we still walked on all fours, we probably wouldn't have them
One person in five has varicose veins or is likely to get them
Varicose veins usually develop slowly over 10-20 years
Recent research has found that varicose veins are more common in men than in women
60 000 people in England have hospital treatment for varicose veins every year
Varicose veins are more common in Wales than anywhere else in the world
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