Varicose Veins

The name varicose comes from the Latin root "varix" which means twisted. Varicose veins are similar to spider veins, but they are bigger and can bulge out from the skin's surface.

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Varicose veins are caused by pressure on the lower body. This lower body stress is caused by spending excessive time standing and sitting in the same position. Varicose veins are commonly blue or deep purple in color. These large twisted vessels appear on the inside of the legs and on the backs of calves. They can also stretch from the groin to the ankle and up to the arm.

There are three different types of varicose veins, named for the area where they appear: venous lakes, reticular veins and telangiectases. Venous lakes are often found on the face and neck. Reticular veins appear only behind the knee. Telangiectases appear, like spider veins, on the face or upper body. Therefore, they are treated in the same manner.

Approximately 15-percent of all North American adults - especially people 50-years-old and older - are inflicted with varicose veins. Normally varicose veins are simply a cosmetic concern, however advanced, or bulging, varicose veins can cause painful cramping in the legs, as well as soreness, burning, muscle cramping and swelling. These discomforts often signal more serious circulatory system problems. Sclerotherapy is a type of plastic surgery that has been known to improve the appearance of varicose veins and spider veins temporarily.

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