What Are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are veins under the skin of legs, which have become large and visible. Many people have them but it is not always the case that they cause a problem. The leg has two main systems of veins:

  • Deep veins: When you walk the leg muscles squeeze the deep veins carrying most of the blood back up the legs to the heart.
  • Superficial veins: These are found near the surface of the skin and are less important than deep veins but can form varicose veins.

All these veins contain one-way valves that allow blood to flow towards the heart but prevent it from flowing backwards away from the heart towards the legs. If these valves become leaky then blood flows backwards down the veins. As the heart and deep veins have blood at a higher pressure than superficial veins then blood can flow all the way back into the superficial veins. This results in an overload of pressure when standing causing a widening of the veins so that they do not close properly. Blood flowing back into the leg along these veins causes varicose veins to develop. High pressure in these veins may then also cause spider veins and discoloured areas which look like bruises.

Our vein clinics provide excellent diagnosis and treatment services for varicose veins. If you are located in Manchester or Cheshire and want to book an appointment with a varicose vein expert, please contact us or book an appointment.