Varicose veins are enlarged, twisted, painful superficial veins resulting from poorly functioning valves. Varicose veins usually occur in the veins of the legs, although it may occur elsewhere. It is a common condition, affecting mostly women.
Review Date 7/19/2021
Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.