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Why Some People Get Varicose Veins and Others Don't

Why Some People Get Varicose Veins and Others Don't

If you don't have varicose veins, you’ve probably seen them on other people. These twisty, slightly bulging blueish veins, usually on your legs, lie just under the skin. 

For some people, these visible rope-like veins can cause pain, tired legs, and discomfort, as well as embarrassment. Additionally, varicose veins can increase your risk for complications like a blood clot or open sores on your legs. About 20% of all adults will get varicose veins at some point in their life. 

At South Florida Vascular Associates, located in Coconut Creek, Boynton Beach, and Plantation, Florida, board-certified vascular interventional physician William Julien, MD, offers a variety of cutting-edge procedures to treat varicose veins. These treatments relieve pain and discomfort and improve the appearance of your legs.

While varicose veins primarily affect older people, younger people can also get them. And although varicose veins are common, not everyone develops them. Here, Dr. Julien explains why some people are more likely to get them.

Genetic predisposition

One of the primary reasons some people are more prone to varicose veins lies in their genetics. If your parents or close family members have experienced this condition, you’re at a higher risk of developing it. 

Genetic factors can influence the strength and structure of vein walls and valves, making them more susceptible to weakening over time, which can lead to venous insufficiency and varicose veins.

Age and gender

As you age, the natural wear-and-tear on your veins accumulates, making them less efficient in maintaining proper blood flow. Additionally, hormonal changes in women, especially during pregnancy and menopause, can weaken vein walls, further increasing the likelihood of varicose veins.


During pregnancy, hormonal changes and a growing uterus can put added pressure on leg veins. Moreover, increased blood volume circulating in the body can also impact vein health. While pregnant women are more likely to develop varicose veins, their condition often improves or resolves post-delivery.

Occupational or lifestyle habits

If you spend long hours standing or sitting without taking breaks to move around and stretch your legs, you’re more likely to develop these enlarged veins than someone who’s more active throughout the day. Prolonged periods of inactivity can lead to blood pooling in the lower extremities, putting additional strain on the vein walls and valves.

Obesity and a sedentary lifestyle

Being overweight or obese can significantly impact the development of varicose veins. Excess body weight puts extra pressure on your veins, hindering the blood's upward flow toward the heart. Similarly, a sedentary lifestyle contributes to poor blood circulation, exacerbating the risk of varicose veins.

Medical conditions

Certain medical conditions, such as chronic venous insufficiency, blood clotting disorders, and deep vein thrombosis, can increase your risk of varicose veins. These conditions weaken the veins' walls and valves, making them more susceptible to enlargement and bulging.

If you suspect you have varicose veins or you want to learn more about prevention and treatments, call South Florida Vascular Associates at the office near you to make an appointment, or schedule one online today.

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