Varicose veins affect approximately a quarter of the US adult population. They are unsightly but treatable veins that occur typically in the legs. Varicose veins appear when blood is not sufficiently carried up and out of the leg and instead of flowing backward toward the feet. When a vein becomes varicose, it is non-functioning and cannot go back to ‘normal.’ If the vein is causing leg pain, swelling, discoloration, bleeding, or infection, it should be treated. It can also be treated if it is aesthetically bothersome.
Varicose veins are very different than spider veins, which are most frequently cosmetic in nature, affecting the health of your venous system. Varicose veins are generally a symptom of a deeper issue in the venous system. They are large, dilated, and bulging veins that protrude above the skin and can feel painful, heavy, and cause swelling and achiness.