What are varicose or spider veins?
We don’t know the causes of varicose veins and spider veins. However, in many cases, they run in families.
Women seem to have the problem more often than men. Changes in oestrogen levels in a woman’s blood may play a role in the development of varicose veins. These hormonal changes occur during puberty, pregnancy, breastfeeding and menopause.
Factors that may increase your risk of developing varicose veins include being immobile for long periods, for example, being confined to bed, or standing and sitting a long time. Lack of exercise is another factor, along with obesity.
Problems can occur if the faulty valves are located within the veins that go through the calf muscles. Problems can include aching in your legs, skin rashes such as eczema, skin ulcers, and blood clots within the veins (thrombophlebitis). You might also see brownish ‘stains’ on your skin surface, caused by the eruption of capillaries.