Varicose veins are enlarged, twisted veins that are commonly seen on the legs. In most cases, they are dark purple or blue in color and often “bulge”,  and if left untreated, they can lead to symptoms such as a heavy feeling in your legs, skin discoloration, swelling, and worsened pain after sitting or standing for prolonged periods of time.  

Along with making you feel self-conscious, they can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort, especially when you walk and stand. If you are suffering with unsightly and painful varicose veins, you may be wondering what causes them to form.

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Why Do Varicose Veins Occur?

Leg veins are responsible for carrying blood up and out of the legs, back to the heart, against the pull of gravity. Varicose veins are superficial veins that have lost their ability to appropriately carry blood up and out of the leg, thus allowing the blood to flow backward toward the feet. Also known as venous insufficiency or venous reflux, this is a result of broken valves inside the veins. Once a vein has become varicose, it won’t go back to normal and should be treated if causing symptoms.

Risk Factors of Varicose Veins

There are a number of factors that can raise your risk of developing varicose veins. Since aging causes wear and tear on the valves in your veins, the older you are, the more likely you are to develop this condition. Also, hormonal changes during pregnancy and menopause may play a role in varicose veins so they are more common in women than men.

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In addition, varicose veins tend to be hereditary so if other members of your family struggled with them, you’ll likely get them as well. Lastly, if you stand or sit for long periods of time, your chances of developing varicose veins are higher as well.

Can Varicose Veins Be Prevented?

Unfortunately, there is no way to completely prevent the development of varicose veins. However, you may reduce your risk of this condition if you focus on improving your circulation and muscle tone. We recommend exercising on a regular basis, maintaining a healthy weight, and adhering to a high-fiber, low-sodium diet. Also, get into the habit of elevating your legs and changing your sitting or standing position frequently.

Dr. Cutchen of Albuquerque Vein & Laser Institute treated my painful, bulging varicose veins with his in-office vein procedures, including endovenous laser ablation to close up the diseased vein. The results were much better than I expected, and I am thrilled with both the cosmetic results, with how my legs look, and the medical results, with how my legs now feel. The procedure was a bit more in-depth than I initially anticipated but was well worth the results. Dr. Cutchen is the best vein doctor!.

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Take the Next Step

You don’t have to live with painful and unsightly varicose veins forever. The next step is a painless one – simply schedule a vein consultation with the most trusted New Mexico vein clinic – Albuquerque Vein & Laser Institute –  by calling 505-848-VEIN or completing the form on this page. One of our staff members will reach out to you promptly. Albuquerque Vein & Laser Institute is located in the Journal Center area of Albuquerque and proudly serves vein patients throughout the entire Albuquerque area, as well as Rio Rancho, Santa Fe, Santa Rosa, Los Lunas and other areas throughout New Mexico. We would love to help you get on the road to pain-free legs and a happier, healthier lifestyle.