Veins return fluid and blood from the leg back to the body. Normal functioning veins contain valves that act as gates opening and closing to facilitate blood to flow in ‘one-way’ direction back to the heart. Varicose veins predominantly occur when the valves become damaged and do not close properly therefore blood flows back down the leg (reflux) and the veins fill with blood.
Varicose veins can be unsightly but frequently cause symptoms including pain, discomfort, leg swelling and itch. In the long-term there is risk that toxins from the veins can damage the skin around the ankles and cause venous ulcers.
- Family history