The purpose of the veins in the legs is to bring blood back to the heart. The veins contain valves to help prevent backflow of venous blood. Sometimes, these valves do not function properly and the blood begins to flow backwards. This is called "reflux", and can result in engorgement of the veins.
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This pressue causes the vein to enlarge and often symptoms. "Varicose Veins" refers to veins that are over 4 millimeters in diameter. Smaller veins draining into these varicose veins can also become engorged due to this reflux. The smaller veins are referred to as "reticular veins" if their diameter is 1-4 millimeters, or as "spider veins" if their diameter is less than 1 mm.
Risk Factors for Varicose Veins
- Prolonged standing
- Estrogen therapy
Signs and Symptoms of Venous Disease
- Restless leg
- Skin changes
- Bulging enlarged veins
- Unsightly veins of varicose sizes and locations