Leg veins that swell and bulge so they’re visible under the skin, resembling a tangle of knotted yarn, are known as varicose veins, and they’re usually not a health concern. (That said, it is a good idea to have them checked nonetheless, to rule out relatively uncommon, serious problems such as blood clots.)
However, in many cases, they’re not merely a cosmetic issue, either: they can cause uncomfortable symptoms ranging from a feeling of heaviness, to itching, burning and aching.
So what exactly causes veins to become distended and swollen in this way? And what can you do to alleviate symptoms?
Those are just a few of the questions I’ve tried to answer in this latest ‘Your Health Questions’ column for Good Times magazine: ‘Understanding Varicose Veins’.
A big thank-you to Dr. John Harlock for so generously sharing his time and expertise. Dr. Harlock is an associate professor of vascular surgery at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, and president-elect of the Canadian Society for Vascular Surgery.