You may be suffering from varicose veins if you have veins, usually in your legs that have become enlarged and have started to twist. They nearly always appear in the legs due to the strain that the veins in your legs undergo over time due to the effects of walking, running and standing, immensely increasing the pressure on these veins as opposed to other parts of your body.

Although they look far from pretty, varicose veins are, most of the time, much less of a concern than they may first appear to be. Most of the time the only concern people have with varicose veins is that of a cosmetic concern. There are occasions, however, where the strain on varicose veins can lead you to you starting to feel some discomfort and pain. And on rare occasions, they can also develop into more serious problems.

It is worth only seeking advice from your local GP if you have undertaken self-case measures and seen that the condition of your varicose veins is getting worse. Common self-care measures to try prior to this include exercising, elevating your legs or wearing compression stockings. None of which will reverse the effects of varicose veins but nevertheless can help ease the pain 

There are some common risk factors you should be aware of that could increase your chances of suffering from varicose veins:-

  • Age – the older you get, the more strain that your legs have been under and therefore the more at risk you are of suffering from varicose veins.
  • Gender – studies have shown that women are more likely to develop the condition. The exact reason behind this is yet to be sought however it’s suspected that birth control pills and changes in hormones through periods such as pregnancy and/or menopause could contribute.
  • Family history – if members of your family in the past have suffered from varicose veins, there is a bigger chance that you also will.
  • Obesity – the more you weigh the more pressure that is going to be put on the veins in your legs to support your weight.
  • Sitting or standing or prolonged periods of time – sitting down in the same position for a long period of time isn’t helping the blood flow around your legs and can increase your chances of suffering from varicose veins. 

In summary, varicose veins rarely are anything to worry about, apart from cosmetically. If you are concerned about your varicose veins it may be worth consulting the advice of your local GP only if you have undertaken sufficient self-care measures and have seen no improvement as a result.