Varicose veins can occur in any part of a person’s body. The most common places are in the legs, feet and ankles.
Veins have small valves which open and close to prevent blood from flowing backwards. When the valves become defective and blood is able to flow backwards it causes the veins to enlarge and become tortuous. Superficial veins in the legs are the most common places for varicose veins due to the higher pressure that occurs when a person is standing or walking.
Unfortunately some risk factors that may cause varicose veins can’t be avoided. A few of them are aging. Due to the fact that the damage to the small valves over time can allow the blood to flow backwards and collect in the veins as an alternative to being returned to the heart and re-circulated through the body.
Men can develop varicose veins also, however it is more common for women to develop them due to hormonal changes in a woman’s body for various reasons. The walls of the veins have a tendency to relax more than necessary.
If there is a history of the family having varicose veins the chances are that an individual may develop them also.
Being overweight can cause them because of more pressure is placed on the feet, legs and ankles when a person is walking or must stand for extended periods of time. Sitting for extended times can also be a factor because the flow of blood through the body is not as regular as it needs to be.
Symptoms of someone having varicose veins are the appearance of veins being purple or blue lines on a person’s legs, feet, ankles or some other part of their body. The veins may also look like a twisted or protrusion of a cord. Some symptoms may be a hurting or heavy feeling in the legs or a burning sensation in the areas that are affected. Cramps or swelling of the lower legs, ankles, or feet. There are times when it may be more painful after sitting or standing for an extended length of time.