Varicose veins are veins under the skin of the legs, which have become widened, bulging, and twisted. They are very common and do not cause medical problems in most people.Varicose veins are caused by weakened valves and veins in your legs. Normally, one-way valves in your veins keep blood flowing from your legs up toward your heart. When these valves do not work as they should, blood collects in your legs, and pressure builds up. The veins become weak, large, and twisted.Varicose veins often run in families. Aging also increases your risk.


There are two main systems of veins in the legs:

  • Deep veins:  The leg muscles squeeze the deep veins during walking, carrying most of the blood back up the legs to the heart.
  • Superficial veins: These occur under the skin which are less important and can form varicose veins.