Why Do Varicose Veins Most Commonly Develop?

Why Do Varicose Veins Most Commonly Develop?

Varicose veins are a vascular condition that affects millions of people worldwide, in fact, around 3 in 10 adults suffer with them. Whilst for most they are a cosmetic concern, they can cause some discomfort for some, so to effectively manage and treat varicose veins it is essential to understand why they most commonly develop and the available treatment options.

Where do varicose veins most commonly appear?

Varicose veins can occur in various parts of the body, and any vein in the body can become varicose, but they most commonly develop in the lower parts of the body, particularly the legs, calves and feet. This is primarily due to the increased pressure on the veins in the lower half of the body when standing or walking. 

However, there are several factors that contribute to the development of varicose veins, which include:

Incompetent vein valves

Veins contain one-way valves that allow blood to flow towards the heart and prevent it from flowing backwards. When these valves become weakened or damaged, blood can pool in the veins, leading to the formation of varicose veins. Those with naturally weaker veins are more likely to suffer with varicose veins


Genetics play a significant role in the development of varicose veins. If your parents or other close relatives have had them, you may be more prone to developing the condition.


As people get older, the wear and tear on vein walls and valves increase, making them more susceptible to damage and the development of varicose veins.


Women are more likely to develop varicose veins than men. Research has found that this may be because female hormones are known to relax the walls of veins, making the valves more prone to damage and leaking. Hormone changes may be caused by pregnancy, premenstrual syndrome or the menopause.


During pregnancy, the growing uterus can put additional pressure on the veins in the pelvic area, which can lead to the development of varicose veins. These veins often improve after the baby is born, but may not disappear entirely.


Excess body weight places added pressure on the veins, meaning they have to work harder to send the blood in the correct direction back to the heart, making them more prone to damage and varicose vein development. Research suggests that the impact of body weight on the development of varicose veins appears to be more significant in women.

Job & lifestyle factors

Jobs that require prolonged periods of standing or sitting can increase the risk of varicose veins. This is because standing for extended periods can lead to blood pooling in the leg veins, while sitting can restrict circulation.

Where to get varicose veins treated

If you're dealing with varicose veins, there are various non-surgical options available to treat the condition, improve your quality of life, and enhance the appearance of your legs. Where to get varicose veins treated depends on the severity of your condition and your personal preferences, but we always recommend getting in touch with UK Vein Clinic, so our team of specialists can focus exclusively on the diagnosis and treatment of your  varicose veins. 

Treatment options for varicose veins

Here at UK Vein Clinic, we offer a range of minimally-invasive treatments such as sclerotherapy and Radiofrequency Ablation which are both effective, reliable ways to treat varicose veins.

How treatment for varicose veins works:

Step 1) 

Vein disease is a progressively developing condition, and our team of ultrasound scanning experts, led by award-winning Fabrizio D’Abate, will assist you in evaluating if undergoing varicose vein treatment is the appropriate initial step for you at this point.

During this stage, we will analyse the root causes of your varicose veins using Duplex ultrasound, which will create a comprehensive and precise map of them, identify any coagulation issues or other irregularities in your deep veins and determine the most suitable course of action.

Following your initial appointment, you will gain a more thorough understanding of your condition, the available treatment choices, and the outcomes of any vein treatment we recommend.

Step 2)

Next, we will go ahead with your minimally-invasive procedure to treat your varicose veins. This treatment is one of two options:

Radiofrequency ablation - Performed under local anaesthetic, this thermal treatment uses radio energy to generate and direct a precise source of heat to the affected varicose vein, which ultimately causes it to collapse and be reabsorbed into the body.

Find out more about radiofrequency ablation

Foam sclerotherapy - This ultrasound-guided treatment consists of a special foam being injected directly into the damaged vein to close it. Sclerotherapy is an older form of surgery, but it is the use of advanced duplex ultrasound scanning that makes it as modern and reliable as other, newer treatment options.

Find out more about foam sclerotherapy

Step 3) Once you have had your varicose vein treatment, you will be looked after by our highly experienced aftercare team who are always available to answer any questions you may have and provide crucial guidance if any issues emerge.

When considering whether to get your varicose veins treated, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional who can assess your condition and recommend the most suitable treatment options. Depending on the severity of your varicose veins and your individual needs, we can help you determine the most appropriate treatment setting and approach. 

If you're concerned about varicose veins, get in touch with us to take the first step towards effective management and relief.

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Where to find us

We're pleased to be able to provide our world-class varicose vein treatment in a variety of places throughout the United Kingdom. Learn more about your treatment options, including endovenous radio-frequency ablation (EVRF) and foam sclerotherapy, at the clinic closest to you


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