Varicose Veins (cont.)
Gary W. Cole, MD, FAAD
Dr. Cole is board certified in dermatology. He obtained his BA degree in bacteriology, his MA degree in microbiology, and his MD at the University of California, Los Angeles. He trained in dermatology at the University of Oregon, where he completed his residency.
Siamak N. Nabili, MD, MPH
Dr. Nabili received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), majoring in chemistry and biochemistry. He then completed his graduate degree at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). His graduate training included a specialized fellowship in public health where his research focused on environmental health and health-care delivery and management.
Steven Doerr, MD
Steven Doerr, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Doerr received his undergraduate degree in Spanish from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He graduated with his Medical Degree from the University Of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, Colorado in 1998 and completed his residency training in Emergency Medicine from Denver Health Medical Center in Denver, Colorado in 2002, where he also served as Chief Resident.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- Varicose veins and spider veins facts
- What are veins and what is their function?
- What are varicose veins and spider veins?
- Varicose vein and spider vein pictures
- Who gets varicose and spider veins?
- What causes varicose and spider veins?
- What are varicose vein symptoms?
- How are varicose veins evaluated (diagnosed)?
- What treatments are available for varicose veins and spider veins?
- How can compression stockings help with varicose veins?
- What is sclerotherapy?
- Pictures of sclerotherapy treatment
- What are potential side effects and complications of sclerotherapy?
- What surgical procedures are available to treat varicose veins?
- Can laser be used to treat varicose and spider veins?
- What type of doctors provide treatments for varicose and spider veins?
- What are the side effects of these treatments?
- How can varicose veins be prevented?
Who gets varicose and spider veins?
Varicose and spider veins can occur in men or women of any age, but most frequently affect women in the childbearing years and older people. Varicose veins are very common. Some estimates suggest that about 10% to 15% of men and most older women who have varicose or spider veins.
A family history of varicose veins and older age increase one's tendency to develop varicose and spider veins.
Other risk factors include:
- a sedentary lifestyle,
- weight gain,
- prolonged standing, and
What causes varicose and spider veins?
The causes of varicose and spider veins are not entirely understood. In some instances, the absence or weakness of valves in the veins may cause poor venous circulation (blood flow in the veins) and lead to varicose veins. Valves inside veins normally act to ensure that blood in the veins does not flow in a backward direction (retrograde) away from the large (deep) veins and the heart. They are mainly located in perforating veins and some deep veins.
In other cases, weaknesses in the vein walls may cause pooling of the blood. The walls of the blood vessels can become weaker and less competent than normal, causing the volume of blood in the veins to increase, thus leading to varicose veins.
Less commonly, varicose veins are caused by such diseases as:
- phlebitis (inflammation of the veins),
- blood clots or any obstruction to blood flow in the veins, or
- congenital abnormalities of the veins.
Venous disease (disease of the veins) is generally progressive and may not be prevented entirely. However, in some cases, wearing support hosiery, maintaining a normal weight, and regular exercise may be beneficial.
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