What is the cause of Varicose Veins?

Bad valves. Varicose veins are caused by valve problems that allow blood from deep high-pressure veins to enter low-pressure veins just under the skin. These veins enlarge, (varicose), leak fluid through the walls (swelling), letting blood through (discoloration) and finally nutritious arterial blood cannot enter an area of the skin resulting in ulcers. It is treated by laser ablation.
Venous reflux. Blood should only go up in your leg veins. In order to prevent the blood from refluxing the veins have little valves. When they become faulty the blood refluxes and varicose veins form.
Multiple. There are multiple causes that can include family history, obesity, trauma, prolonged standing, prior clots (phlebitis), pregnancies, age, etc. There are both medical and surgical treatments that are both safe and effective.
Genetics / reflux. Usually varicose vein disease is genetically acquired, especially when developing in someone of your age. Other factors such as female gender, hormones, being overweight, pregnancies, trauma, or clots can precipitate or worsen the disease. Ultrasound of the legs often reveals underlying venous reflux disease in a vein called the saphenous vein which causes the development of the surface veins.
Loss of valves. Varicose veins are induced by pressure within the venous system. When standing there is a tendency for pressure to build up in the veins or the legs returning blood to the heart. Because of the passive return of venous blood , the vessels contain valves which tend to hold the blood as it is forced back into the returning circulation. Loss of valve function causes the development of varicosities.
Risk factors/causes. Age- the older you get the more the veins become elastic. Pregnancy- due to the increased blood flow and the increased pressure from the enlarged uterus. Women are more prone due to hormonal changes. Family history Obesity- Due to increased pressure on your veins. Standing or sitting for long periods of time- especially for many years.
Leaking valves. Varicose veins are a very common problem and they are due to leaking valves (called reflux) usually in the saphenous veins. Think of your veins like a tree with the trunk being the saphenous vein and the branches being the varicose veins. A venous reflux ultrasound will make the diagnosis. Common causes of this are hereditary, aging and pregnancies in women. They are treatable with a laser.
Stretchy collagen. The biggest factor for developing varicose veins is heredity. People with genes for collagen which is more stretchy pass this on to their children. The type of collagen make the valves and the vein walls dilate in response to pressure which set in motion a cascade of events that results in varicose veins. Dilated twisted veins which do not have valves to circulate the blood properly[ to the heart]
Varicose veins. These are abnormal veins of the lower extremity. This could be spider veins, which is more common in women secondary to hormonal changes. The other possibility of a larger varicose veins which are result of reflux of blood flow back down the leg in the superficial vein system. These are the bulging veins, which more frequently start at the lower portion of the leg and associated with swelling,

Related Questions

Does anybody know what are the causes of varicose veins on their feet?

Genetics... Most varicose veins have a genetic component, then add on other issues such as pregnancy and cardiovascular problems and there's a back pressure on teh veins which can cause them to be distended. Read more...
Malfunctioning valve. Varicose veins of the feet are often due to vein insufficiency or malfunctioning vein valves of the veins further up on the leg. These valves normally prevent blood from leaking back toward the foot when you stand. However, if they leak, blood will pool in your legs, ankles, and feet and increase pressure in veins causing them to bulge and become varicose. Read more...
Could be normal. Although drs. Nielsen's and macy's explanations are entirely accurate, not all visible veins on the feet are abnormal. Becasue their is so little soft tissue and so much bone in the feet, veins tend to be very prominent. If you don'tg have varicose veins in your legs but do have visible veins in your feet, your foot veins could be entirely normal. Read more...

What causes most people's varicose veins?

Newton's thick skin. An apple hit newton on the head. If newton had sat under apple trees too often, he would need thick skin! and he had better have strong veins too! lucky people inherit genes for strong veins, but 15% of people don't. Gravity pressurizes vein walls and the weaker veins can't take the stress- they give out and dilate! one can't change genetics, but fight back with lifestyle and compression socks! Read more...
Heredity. 80% of the cause of varicose veins is genetic. That means that there really is anything terrible meaningful that you can do to change whether you will get them or not, unless you could exchange your grandparents for a new net. Everything else (standing for long periods of time, pregnancy, wearing compression stockings, etc.) can affect the severity of your varicose veins but the cause is genetic. Read more...
Leaking valves. Varicose veins are a very common problem and they are due to leaking valves (called reflux) usually in the saphenous veins. Think of your veins like a tree with the trunk being the saphenous vein and the branches being the varicose veins. A venous reflux ultrasound will make the diagnosis. Common causes of this are hereditary, aging and pregnancies in women. They are treatable with a laser. Read more...

What can cause varicose veins, and are they a health risk?

Minor health risks. Varicose veins are dilated veins which have become incompetent in keeping blood flow in one direction--see pic here. Overtime, they can get quite large. Often, they are more of a cosmetic problem rather than medical. For some, they can cause pain. Clotting/bleeding and secondary infection can occur at the site of trauma. If they are bothersome to you, consult doc. Good luck. Read more...
Vein health Risk. Varicose veins is a term that is used by patients and physician to cover a wide variety of vein problems. From spider veins to ropy veins to frank venous aneurysm. Physician examination to include focused ultrasound review of the veins is key. Ultrasound review must include review of venous flow patterns looking for venous reflux or backward venous flow. Treatment is then based on findings. Read more...
Heredity. The major cause of varicose veins is heredity, so the only thing you can do to truly minimize your risk is to change your grandparents. Other things can make varicose veins worse than they would have been otherwise but the initial cause is still genetics. Often, varicose veins are little more than a cosmetic problem ( a real problem nonetheless) but serious problems can arise as dr. Nguyen said . Read more...
Varicose veins. There are many causes include heredity, obesity, multiple pregnancies, jobs that require prolonged standing, local trauma, previous clots, etc. Treatment is either medical ,compression stockings, or surgical, minimally invasive procedures and can include phlebectomy, sclerotherapy, EVLA, RFA. Meet with a surgeon experienced in treatment of this problem to discuss options after having an ultrasound. Read more...

What could cause varicose veins in a 22-year old? Could a sedentary life be the cause?

No. Varicose veins in a young person may be the result of genetic predisposition, or multiple child birth in a female. Typically, i see varicose veins in young people as a result of inheritance or something they were born with. A sedentary life style does not cause varicose veins. Read more...
Family History. The number one cause for varicose veins is have a parent or both with vein problems. Pregnancies ALS play a role as well as minimal activity or a job which requires you to stand in one place for prolonged periods. Read more...
Not at all. Activity really has nothing to do with the development of varicose veins. The issue is one of heredity as dr. Lin said. Read more...

What causes varicose veins, gravity?

Not gravity. Incompetent valves in the venous system of the leg, especially the saphenous vein, lead to varicose veins. Of course, they would not occur except that gravity then pulls the blood back down the veins. Read more...
Not exactly. The cause of varicose veins is an inherited tendency for you to have weak vein walls and valves in your veins that either don't work properly or didn't form in the first place. As a result, gravity makes blood flow backwards in the affected veins. This produces too much pressure in the veins and they enlarge, becoming what we call varicose. The root cause, though, is heredity, not gravity. Read more...
Gravity IS involved! You are right! gravity alone will not cause varicose veins unless you also have vein insufficiency or improperly functioning valves of your veins which then allow blood to pool in your veins and increase pressure in your leg veins. This increased pressure causes the veins to get thicker and bulge. Read more...
Newton's thick skin. An apple hit newton on the head. If newton had sat under apple trees too often, he would need thick skin! and he had better have strong veins too! lucky people inherit genes for strong veins, but 15% of people don't. Gravity pressurizes vein walls and the weaker veins can't take the stress- they give out and dilate! one can't change genetics, but fight back with lifestyle and compression socks! Read more...
Bad valves. Varicose veins are caused by valve problems that allow blood from deep high-pressure veins to enter low-pressure veins just under the skin. These veins enlarge, (varicose), leak fluid through the walls (swelling), letting blood through (discoloration) and finally nutritious arterial blood cannot enter an area of the skin resulting in ulcers. It is treated by laser ablation. Read more...