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- Family members with varicose veins
- Sex: female
- Age: childbearing age and older
- Hormonal changes, as with puberty, pregnancy, or menopause
- Pressure on the veins of the pelvis, as with pregnancy or an abdominal tumor
- Working at a job that requires standing on your feet for long periods
- Wearing knee-high socks or stockings with tight elastic
- Previous leg injury
- Veins visible through the skin, appearing enlarged, twisted, and swollen
- Achy, tired, heavy feeling in the area of the varicose veins or generally in the legs, especially after standing
- Leg cramps
- Burning or throbbing pain in the legs
- Swollen legs
In severe cases, skin changes below the area of the varicose veins, including:
- Sores that are difficult to heal
- Sclerotherapy—injects the varicose veins with a chemical to shrink the veins
- Radiofrequency occlusion—collapses and seals varicose veins using radiofrequency energy
- Laser or light source therapy—laser or light source energy used to seal, collapse, and dissolve varicose veins
- Surgery—banding and removing varicose veins—only for severe cases
- Avoid standing for long periods of time.
- Don't wear footwear that interferes with circulation.
- Rest with your legs elevated.
- Wear lightweight compression stockings. Wearing these may help improve circulation in the leg veins.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Don't wear socks or stockings with tight elastic around your legs.
- Try to avoid regularly standing for long periods of time.
American College of Phlebology http://www.phlebology.org
American Society of Plastic Surgeons http://www.plasticsurgery.org
Canadian Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery http://www.csaps.ca
Canadian Society for Vascular Surgery http://canadianvascular.ca
Gorroll A. Mulley A. Primary Care Medicine . 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2000.
Varicose veins. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated January 2, 2013. Accessed March 13, 2013.
Varicose veins. VascularWeb website. Available at: http://www.vascularweb.org/vascularhealth/pages/varicose-veins.aspx. Updated January 2012. Accessed March 13, 2013.
Varicose veins and spider veins fact sheet. Women's Health.gov website. Available at: http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/varicose-spider-veins.cfm. Updated June 2, 2010. Accessed March 13, 2013.
- Reviewer: Michael J. Fucci, DO
- Review Date: 09/2012 -
- Update Date: 03/13/2013 -