Ask the doctors: What can I do about varicose veins?

Q. Varicose veins make my legs look terrible. Is there anything I can do to prevent these ugly veins from getting worse or, preferably, make them go away?

A. Varicose veins occur in about 25% of adults. They represent a failure of the veins to keep blood flowing toward the heart. There is a genetic component to varicose veins, but other risk factors include prolonged standing, multiple pregnancies, and being overweight. Varicose veins may cause legs to ache or throb.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »