Everyone knows that St. Patrick was Irish, George Washington had wooden dentures, and Abner Doubleday invented baseball in Cooperstown. The only problem is that none of these are true. St. Patrick was actually British, most of our first president’s teeth were made from ivory and gold, and Doubleday had nothing to do with America’s pastime.

Sometimes we think that we know more about subjects than we actually do, especially when it comes to medical issues. People are generally familiar with varicose veins, but let’s take a closer look at them to clear up any misinformation. We can set the record straight on varicose vein causes and help you identify the symptoms of this fairly common condition.

Perhaps it is best to start by putting the myth to rest that only certain veins are susceptible to this issue, since technically any one of them can become varicose. The ones in the legs and feet are more likely to be affected, however, because standing and walking upright increases pressure on the veins in your lower body.

Essentially, these bulging veins form when valves within them weaken and allow blood to flow backwards, or pressure constricts the flow and makes it harder for blood to get through. Age and pregnancy are two specific—and common—reasons why these conditions could occur. When the blood pools (instead of flowing back to the heart), veins enlarge and become varicose.

With regard to symptoms, the most apparent are the appearance of twisted, bulging veins that are usually dark blue or purple. The color is not because the veins themselves are blue (a common misconception), but rather because deoxygenated blood—the kind contained in veins—is that color. Other signs of varicose veins include aching, burning, throbbing, and cramping sensations, along with swelling, itching, and skin ulcers.

Some people view varicose veins as being a primarily cosmetic issue, but damaged valves in the veins can actually allow blood backflow. When this happens, blood does not travel back to the heart to be replenished with oxygen.

If you are aware of the development of these veins in your lower extremities, Foot Specialists of Long Island can help. Contact our Nassau County, NY foot doctor office to see what we have to offer with regard to treatment, or receive advice on how to prevent them. Call us today at (516) 804-9038 or take advantage of our online form to schedule an appointment.

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