Blood flows through our body via an extensive network of interconnected blood vessels, arteries and veins. Healthy veins allow blood to flow to the legs and back to our heart continuously. If the veins appear lumpy or twisted, it signifies that the venous blood circulatory system is not at its optimal functional level.


Varicose veins are ugly, swollen greenish veins that become visible in the calves and thighs.

These veins develop due to damage to the valves in the veins, causing increased pressure in the veins.


In the leg, the veins bring blood from the feet back to the heart. Valves in the veins prevent the blood from flowing back down the leg due to gravity. When these valves become damaged, blood will flow downwards to the feet. This increases the pressure inside the veins, causing the veins to become distended.

Do you know?

There are 2 main veins in the legs which function to bring blood from the legs back to the heart. The superficial venous system comprises of veins that are close to the skin surface. The deep venous system is the set of veins present inside the muscles of the legs.


One known risk factor is having a past episode of Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT). DVT damages the valves in the veins and leads to eventual reflux in the deep veins.

Other risk factors include

  • Occupations that require prolonged standing, e.g. teachers, salespersons and nurses.
  • Being overweight also may increase the pressure in the veins in the legs, leading to varicose veins.