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What are varicose veins?

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Varicose veins are bulging, swollen, purple and ropy veins, seen just under your skin. They're caused by damaged valves within the veins. They're more common in women than men and often run in families. They can also be caused by pregnancy, being severely overweight, or by standing for long periods of time. The symptoms include:

  • Bulging, swollen, purple, ropy, veins seen under the skin
  • Spider veins -- small red or purple bursts on your knees, calves, or thighs, caused by swollen capillaries (small blood vessels)
  • Aching, stinging, or swelling of the legs at the end of the day

From: Vascular Diseases and Pain WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: 

American Heart Association. 

Cleveland Clinic.

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on April 30, 2017

SOURCES: 

American Heart Association. 

Cleveland Clinic.

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on April 30, 2017

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