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Varicose veins are engorged, ropey veins that protrude from the skin’s surface. They are common in the legs and feet and often develop from lifestyle factors such as pregnancy, excess body weight, or an occupation that requires prolonged sitting or standing. Other risk factors associated with varicose veins include gender (these veins develop more often in women than men), genetics, use of birth control pills, a history of blood clots, or conditions that increase pressure in the abdomen and legs.

Symptoms

Many people with varicose veins experience a wide array of symptoms, including:

  • Aching, itching, or heaviness in the limbs
  • Burning or throbbing pain
  • Muscle cramping
  • Swelling in the lower legs