Blog4 - Understanding the Causes of Varicose Veins

Understanding the Causes of Varicose Veins

One of the most bothering things that keep your legs from being flawless is varicose veins. They appear as snake-like bulges in the legs and in the thighs. According to a study, around 25% of all adults develop varicose veins. They are usually dark purple or blue in color. But you may be wondering, how can a person get varicose veins?

Overview of Varicose Veins

Varicose veins, also known as varicosities occur when you veins become enlarged and appear like bulges in some parts of your body, especially your legs. Basically, veins return deoxygenated blood from the other parts of the body to the heart and lungs. However, when these veins become too much pressured, its walls thicken and twist, thus forming varicose veins.

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Cause of Varicose Veins

There are various theories that try to explain why varicosities occur in veins. According to research, defective or damaged valves cause the formation of varicose veins. However, it is still unclear why valves become inefficient or dysfunctional. Some experts suggest that inherited problems may cause the valves to weaken. Further, certain factors, like age or immune system problems affect the health of these valves.

A healthy vein allows the blood to flow smoothly towards the heart. The blood is prevented from going backward by a series of valves. However, if these valves do not function properly, the blood will flow backward and will accumulate in the vein, causing it to swell and enlarge, forming varicose veins.

Risk Factors

There are certain factors that will increase your risk of acquiring varicose veins. These include:

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The elasticity of the veins decreases as a person gets older. With this, the valves will weaken which will allow the blood to flow backward instead of going directly to the heart.


Pregnancy increases blood volume, however, it decreases the flow of blood into your legs and your pelvis. The natural circulatory change occurs to support the development of the fetus. However, it has unfortunate side effects in your veins.


Women are the most vulnerable to developing varicose veins. Hormonal changes during menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause cause the vein walls to weaken. Moreover, taking birth control pills and other hormones may increase your risk to varicose veins.

Family History

If some of your family members had varicose veins, there is a chance that you will also develop this condition.

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Basically, when you gain too much weight, there is too much pressure for the veins to carry the blood to the heart. Thus, obesity affects the health of your veins.

Standing for Long Periods of Time

This is considered as one of the factors that really cause varicose veins. If you are standing, especially for long durations, you are not helping your vein to carry the blood towards your heart. Standing makes it hard for the valves to transport the blood upward.

Rarely, varicose veins are acquired because of other underlying health conditions, including ulcer, deep blood clots that swell and bleeding, among others.