Oct 17, 2000
I have developed varicose veins around my ankles. These seem to becoming more numerous and also getting darker. Is this something I should be concerned about??
| Response from Dr. Pavia
In general varicose veins increase with age. As one of my teachers used to say, they can be a normal sign of too many candles on the birthday cake. Occasionally, what appear to be varicose veins can be a sign of obstruction of the return of blood in the veins (perhaps from a blood clot) or lymphatic blockage, but these are unusual.
You should probably let your doctor have a look next time you are in. Most likely, it is nothing to worry about. There are some things that can help slow the progress, including wearing support stockings, avoiding long periods of standing without moving, and regular walking or running which helps pump blood out of the legs.
Andrew T. Pavia, M.D.
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