Varicose veins are twisted, swollen veins just below the skin’s surface, most often found in the legs. When valves in the leg veins become defective, they cause blood to pool in the superficial veins of the legs, which become swollen and distorted. Obesity, hormones during pregnancy or menopause, or pelvic vein pressure can all accelerate the formation of varicose veins. About 15 percent of adults suffer from varicose veins, which are more common among women and run in some families.
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