varicose veins showing on woman's leg

Varicose veins are the most common vein condition, affecting nearly 25 million Americans. These enlarged veins in the legs and feet are more than just unsightly — they can be painful, too. You don’t have to live with the embarrassment and discomfort of varicose veins. At her practice in New York City, cardiologist and peripheral vascular specialist Azadeh Beheshtian, MD, treats men and women suffering from varicose veins. Learn more and request a consultation over the phone or online today.

Q & A

What are they?

Varicose veins are the most common venous disease. They are superficial veins that become enlarged and twisted over time. They can develop anywhere in your body, but they’re most common in legs and feet. Standing and walking increase the pressure inside your veins, which puts them at increased risk for damage.

Varicose veins develop when veins are weak or damaged. They often appear as raised or bulging bluish-purple veins just beneath the surface of your skin. For many people, they can be embarrassing and unsightly. In some cases, varicose veins cause pain and lead to more serious problems.

What are the risk factors?

Varicose veins are more common in women than in men, with up to 33% of American women suffering from the condition. Other risk factors include:

  • Age
  • Family history
  • Obesity
  • Activity level

Older people and people with a family history of varicose veins are more likely to experience the condition. Your weight and activity level also play a role. People who are obese or have sedentary lifestyles are at increased risk.

What are the symptoms?

Varicose veins are often a cosmetic concern, and they can appear twisted or bulging below the surface of your skin. They might be purple or blue in color, and typically appear on your legs or feet. Some people experience painful symptoms, too.

If you’re suffering from pain, you might experience:

  • Aching
  • Throbbing
  • Swelling
  • Itchy skin
  • Skin discoloration

Varicose veins can make your legs feel heavy and cause a burning or throbbing feeling in your lower legs. You might notice that the pain is worse after standing or sitting for long periods of time.

How are varicose veins treated?

Some people find relief from pain with lifestyle changes. Exercising regularly to promote healthy blood flow can help ease pain. Elevating your legs after long periods of standing or wearing compression stockings keep pain from getting worse.

In more serious cases, lifestyle changes may not be enough to manage your pain. Dr. Beheshtian can help you find relief with a medical procedure that closes or removes the varicose veins. Using minimally invasive techniques or laser treatment, she can close off damaged veins to prevent pain.

You don’t have to live with varicose veins. To learn more about your treatment options, contact the team at Dr. Beheshtian’s office today, either by phone or using the online scheduler.