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Florida Dermatologist: What causes varicose veins?


Florida Dermatologist: What causes varicose veins? | Palm HarborWhile varicose veins usually impact women over the age of 30, they may sometimes also affect men. A vein or skincare specialist can enable the patient to arrive at the correct decision and recommend suitable treatment. To identify the underlying cause, the doctor would need to understand the patient’s relevant health and family history.

At the time of the pre-operative consultation, the patient should openly ask the doctor any questions about varicose veins. They should feel fully satisfied with the doctor’s response prior to deciding to proceed with the treatment. 

Palm Harbor Dermatology, led by experienced dermatologists, provides safe and proven skin care procedures to patients in Palm Harbor, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Brandon, Tampa, Spring Hill, Riverview, Florida, and surrounding locations.

Possible Causes

The primary function of veins is to return blood from all areas of the body back to the heart. In order to do this, the veins in the legs have to work against gravitational forces. The muscle contraction in the lower extremities works like a pump, enabling walls of healthy veins to return blood to the heart. Small valves in the veins open and close as blood flows through them.

Over time, veins tend to lose their natural elasticity and become stretched. At times, their valves may malfunction when this occurs. This causes blood to move backward rather than flowing towards the heart. The blood accumulates in these veins, causing them to become larger, and therefore, varicose. These veins turn purple or blue due to deoxygenated blood. Aging is a major cause of varicose veins.  

This condition may occur in women during pregnancy. The quantity of blood in the body increases during pregnancy. However, the amount of blood flowing from the legs to the pelvis decreases. This change in blood flow patterns helps support fetus growth. However, this can lead to unhealthy side effects, such as varicose veins.

Pregnancy can either cause the development of new varicose veins in a woman or worsen the existing ones due to the pressure exerted on the legs from the uterus. Hormonal fluctuations that are associated with pregnancy also lead to varicose veins.

Risk Factors


Aging causes the valves of the veins to malfunction as they become less elastic over time. This leads to the deoxygenated blood flowing back into the veins, instead of moving towards the heart.


Pregnancy, hormonal changes, menstrual cycle, and menopause are some factors that make women more susceptible to varicose veins in comparison to men. Female hormones are also believed to contribute to the hardening of vein walls. 

Family History

The likelihood of a person developing varicose veins is higher if some family members already suffer from the condition. A genetic connection is not yet proven, but the issue of varicose veins is often seen among several members of the same family.


Being obese or overweight can exert more pressure on the veins in the legs, leading to the development of varicose veins. Palm Harbor Dermatology receives patients from Palm Harbor, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Brandon, Tampa, Spring Hill, Riverview, Florida, and nearby areas for advanced and innovative skin care treatments. 

PH Dermatology Cancer & Laser Surgery Center, led by board certified dermatologists, provides advanced dermatology treatments to patients in Palm Harbor, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Tampa, Brandon, Riverview, Spring Hill, Florida and surrounding communities. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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