Varicose veins happen when the blood vessels that manage flow through the veins don’t work properly. Blood collects in the veins, causing them to become swollen and twisted. Varicose veins appear large and bulge if left untreated along the surface of the skin. They can be painful and lead to venous insufficiency. If left untreated, varicose veins can cause swelling, increased pain, skin discoloration, and ulcerations of the lower legs that may turn into slow healing wounds.
Risk factors for varicose veins include:
- Prolonged periods of standing
- Family history
- Previous blood clots or vein surgery
Vein Disease Education: Why It Matters and How It's Treated (Medtronic)