Varicose Veins

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Varicose Veins
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
National Institutes of Health, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute.
Varicose veins are swollen and twisted veins that are visible just under the surface of the skin. They appear most commonly in the legs, but also can develop in other parts of the body.
Veins have one-way valves that help to keep the blood flowing toward the heart. When the valves don’t work well, blood backs up and pools in the veins. This causes them to swell and become varicose veins.
Varicose veins usually don’t cause medical problems. On occasion, they require treatment for pain, skin problems, blood clots, or other complications.
Common signs and symptoms:
Enlarged veins that are visible on your skin
Mild swelling of your ankles and feet
Painful, achy, or "heavy" legs
Throbbing or cramping in your legs
Itchy legs, especially in the lower leg and ankle (sometimes incorrectly diagnosed as dry skin)
Discoloration of your skin surrounding the varicose veins
LifeART Collection Images Copyright © 1989-2001 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, MD
Normal Vein
Varicose Vein
Normal blood flow
Abnormal blood flow

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