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Skin Problems & Treatments Health Center

Varicose Veins - Cause

Varicose veins are enlarged veins that usually occur just under the skin (superficial veins). Varicose veins are likely to be caused by one or more factors, including:

Varicose veins often run in families. You may be born with defective valves or weak walls in your veins, or you may develop them later in life.

Varicose veins are more common in women than in men. And varicose veins happen more often as people get older.

Varicose veins often develop during pregnancy. They might become less prominent after pregnancy and may disappear completely.

Less commonly, varicose veins may be a sign of a more serious problem that may sometimes need treatment. These serious problems can include:

  • Blood clots or blockage in the deep veins or perforating veins.
  • Injury to the deep veins.
  • Abnormal blood vessels between arteries and veins (arteriovenous fistulas). A person may be born with these problems or develop them later in life.
  • Tumors (very rarely).
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 17, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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