Veins are the vessels that carry blood from the body to the heart. They have valves that prevent blood from moving away from the heart.

Swollen and twisted veins are known as varicose veins, and they can form in both men and women. An estimated 35 percent of U.S. adults have varicose veins, which are often harmless, though they can lead to complications affecting circulation. Treatment, which may be done for cosmetic or health reasons, usually involves the removal or closing off of affected veins.

Men have bulging veins in their legs. The appearance of varicose veins is not the only symptom.

The following symptoms can be accompanied by varicose veins.

  • The legs are sore.
  • There was a lot of weight in the lower legs and feet.
  • It is itchy.
  • The night time cramps.
  • There is swelling in the legs.

There is too much pressure in the veins. This can happen when the veins valves become weak or injured. The veins can swell due to blood pooling.

There are certain factors that can raise your risk of developing varicose veins. These include:

  • The age is getting older.
  • The family history of veins.
  • “It’s obese.”
  • sedentary lifestyle.
  • standing for long periods without walking.

Veins look like they are bulging. They have blood pooled inside them that makes them look darker than the surrounding skin.

Varicose veins can affect the appearance of the legs, which is often a reason people seek treatment. But large or plentiful varicose veins may also pose a health risk. Here are some of the more common health concerns associated with varicose veins.

Deep vein thrombosis

Varicose veins often affect veins closer to the surface. When these veins become hard and warm to the touch, the condition is called phlebitis. A clot (also called a thrombus) that forms in a surface vein with phlebitis usually poses no serious health risk and will resolve on its own.

These blood clots in varicose veins are different than deep vein thrombosis (DVT), when the clot forms in a deeper vein in the leg. DVT can break loose and travel to the lungs, where it becomes a pulmonary embolism, blocking blood flow in the lungs and restricting the body’s ability to oxygenate blood.

Leg ulcer

A leg ulcer caused by a varicose vein is also known as a venous ulcer. These ulcers are open sores that don’t heal easily, because healthy blood flow in the legs is compromised by the swollen veins. Leg ulcers often form near the ankle.

May-Thurner syndrome

A rare condition in which an artery in the pelvis compresses a vein, May-Thurner syndrome can result in dangerous blood clot formation. Varicose veins, venous ulcers, and a swelling in the affected leg are among the key symptoms of May-Thurner syndrome.

There are three treatment options for varicose veins. All of them are safe and effective.

Endovenous ablation

This procedure involves the use of lasers or radiofrequency energy to close off the affected vein. The procedure is done on an outpatient basis, with a local or general anesthesia. Some bruising and temporary skin discoloration are common after the procedure. A 2019 study suggests that endovenous ablation may be safer and more effective than surgery.


Another common procedure to treat varicose veins and spider veins is called sclerotherapy. It’s also an outpatient procedure with a relatively fast recovery time. With sclerotherapy, your doctor uses a very fine needle to inject a solution into the varicose vein, causing it to shrink and become closed off. Research, including a 2018 study, suggests that a foam solution, as opposed to a liquid (which is more commonly used for spider veins), may do a better job of shrinking varicose veins.


For larger or deeper varicose veins, the best option may be surgery to remove the affected portion of the blood vessel. One common surgical method — called vein ligation and excision — involves tying off the source of the varicose vein and removing portions of the swollen varicose vein.

Vein stripping can be combined with this procedure, which has been replaced by the procedure of Ablating Veins. Stab phlebectomy is a procedure where veins are removed.

“If you notice veins but don’t have any symptoms, you don’t need to seek a medical evaluation. Discuss the issue with your doctor.”

“If you start to notice pain, numbness, or other symptoms in the legs with varicose veins, you should contact your doctor or a vascular specialist. If you notice blisters on your skin that don’t heal on their own, or you see skin discolored, speak with a doctor.”

It is worth having a doctor evaluate your veins and determine if any procedures are necessary.

While it’s not always possible to prevent varicose veins, keeping your weight in a healthy range may lower your risk. Make an effort to be more physically active, which will boost circulation and increase blood flow through your veins.

Try to avoid standing or sitting in one place for a long time. Move as much as possible. If you are sitting, raise your legs. Your feet can help boost blood flow through your veins. A doctor may recommend wearing compression stockings to keep existing veins from getting worse.

Men are just as likely to have varicose veins as women are. Most men have no serious health threat from their varicose veins, though they can cause symptoms, which should prompt a conversation with a doctor.

Many people want their veins treated for aesthetic reasons. There are a few different options to close off or remove varicose veins, all of which are usually effective and safe with a low risk of side effects.