Varicose Veins: We answer Frequently Asked Questions about Varicose Veins.

For our article, we answer frequently asked questions about varicose veins.

What are Varicose Veins?

Generally recognized as twisted ropy veins, varicose veins is a condition that can have various causes and levels of severity, which aren’t always apparent and visible, it’s important to have a consultation and check-up with a vein specialist.

What are these lines I see on my legs?

Red or purple lines on the skin of your legs maybe symptoms of varicose veins. These lines can appear on your arms or even your face. They may be large, swollen, ropey-looking veins that bulge underneath the skin, or they can be thin, tiny lines. In advanced cases, you may see skin ulcers, or bleeding from the skin.

Other symptoms include pain and feelings of heaviness or tiredness in the legs, cramps, itching, burning, and feelings of restlessness. You can feel the pain but not have any outwardly visible signs.

What is the difference between Varicose Veins and Spider Veins?

Varicose veins are enlarged veins that can be blue, red, or flesh-colored and can appear swollen and raised above the surface of the skin

Spider veins are much smaller and can look like tree branches or spiderwebs with their short jagged lines.

What causes varicose veins?

Varicose veins occur when your vein isn’t functioning properly. Veins have one-way valves that prevent blood from flowing backwards. When these valves fail, blood begins to collect in the vein rather than continuing toward your heart. Varicose veins often affect the legs because they are the farthest from the heart and gravity makes it harder for the blood to flow upward. Some potential causes for varicose veins include chronic heart valve conditions (which are often congenital), pregnancy, menopause, standing for long periods of time, and obesity (which adds weight to the body and increases the pressure on the legs).

How do I prevent getting Varicose veins?

In general, doctors are conservative when treating varicose veins. You’ll probably be advised to make changes to your lifestyle, instead of trying more aggressive treatments. Lifestyle Changes that can prevent Varicose veins

  • Avoid standing for extended periods of time.
  • Lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
  • Exercise to improve your leg strength.
  • Avoid knee high elastic hoisery.


Your doctor may advise you to wear special compression pantyhose or stockings. These place external pressure on your legs compressing the distended veins and improving function of the valves so the blood can flow more easily to your heart.

(Varicose vein assessments require a Doctor’s Referral)