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Varicose Veins

Swollen Veins Seen Under Surface of Skin

As many as 40 million Americans suffer from varicose veins. They are swollen veins that can be seen just under your skin's surface.

Location in Body

They are most commonly found in the legs or pelvic area.


Varicose veins are abnormal, dilated blood vessels often look blue, bulging and twisted. Sometimes they are surrounded by thin red capillaries called spider veins -- a group of tiny blood vessels also located near the surface of the skin that are primarily a cosmetic issue.

Causes Pain and Discomfort

Half of those who seek treatment for varicose veins do so because of pain and discomfort. Varicose veins can cause:

  • Aching
  • Fatigue
  • Changes in your skin, such as rashes and redness
  • In severe cases sores, known as venous ulcers can develop
  • Can worsen over time if left untreated

Contact Information

Cardiovascular Medicine
Division of the CardioVascular Institute
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215