Do Varicose Veins Only Develop In the Legs?

Varicose veins can be both a medical and cosmetic problem. If you have varicose veins or are experiencing symptoms, then the best thing you can do is consult a vein specialist for diagnosis and treatment. Although varicose veins happen most often in the legs, they can develop anywhere in the body. Here is a quick guide to varicose veins and how to manage them.

What are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are veins that become enlarged when blood pools in them. Normally, the blood in your body is pushed back toward the heart through the veins. Your veins have special valves that prevent backflow as the blood moves through. Sometimes, however, these valves can become weakened by strain and allow blood to pool in the veins. This process causes the veins to expand and become visible on the surface of the skin. Varicose veins are considered a medical problem because they can put you at greater risk of more serious cardiovascular problems.

Do Varicose Veins Only Develop In the Legs?

Many people experience varicose veins in the legs, but they can theoretically occur anywhere in the body. Areas like the feet and ankles are also areas where you might develop varicose veins. Varicose veins tend to develop in the feet, ankles, and legs because these areas come under strain from the rest of the body, especially if you’re overweight or pregnant – or spent excess amounts of time sitting or standing. Additionally, the feet and legs are one of the furthest areas from the heart, meaning your veins are under greater strain when pushing blood back to the heart.

Varicose veins can also develop in a single leg, although more study is needed to find out why this happens. You can also develop varicose veins that don’t show on the surface of the skin because they’re further inside the body. This means you may only have physical symptoms like aching, itchiness, heaviness, cramping, or restlessness.

Can You Prevent Varicose Veins?

Some of the risk factors for varicose veins are hereditary, meaning it’s harder to prevent them from happening if you have family members who also have varicose veins. Varicose veins are also more common in women, especially those who are older. However, if you don’t fit these categories, some lifestyle factors can be adjusted to treat varicose veins or lessen the chances of developing them. These include:

  • Becoming more active
  • Reducing the time you spend standing or sitting
  • Stopping smoking
  • Reducing strain from heavy lifting or exercising
  • Elevating your legs when sitting
  • Wearing compression stockings

The best way to prevent and treat varicose veins is by consulting a vein specialist who can help you explore your options. At Wisconsin Vein Center & MediSpa, we offer leading the vein treatments for varicose veins and can help you develop a vein care plan based on your needs.

Schedule a Consultation

If you’re interested in learning more, schedule an appointment with Dr. Manjoney and our team. Wisconsin Vein Center & MediSpa is the leading provider of specialized vein treatment in the Midwest and can help you achieve relief. Contact our Milwaukee area office by calling or filling out our online contact form.

Owner / On-Site Medical Director at Wisconsin Vein Center & MediSpa | Website

Dr. Deborah Manjoney is a board-certified surgeon and physician with extensive training, including cardiothoracic surgery. She founded the Wisconsin Vein Center & MediSpa in 2002, where she specializes in vein treatments and minimally invasive aesthetic procedures. Dr. Manjoney is nationally recognized, having spoken at conferences, received awards, and contributed to medical publications.