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Varicose veins are unsightly—and they can signal larger problems. Here’s how you can make them disappear.

If you have varicose veins, you are not alone; more than 25 million Americans suffer from uncomfortable and unsightly veins.

Varicose veins develop from venous insufficiency, which is when a vein wall weakens or a valve begins to work incorrectly. Recirculating blood that should be moving toward the heart instead moves away. This causes blood to pool and pressure to build. Veins become twisted, enlarged and, sometimes, painful.

One in five adults has some degree of venous insufficiency. Nearly 25 percent of women and 15 percent of men are affected. Varicose veins are also common in people older than 60.

Read more about varicose vein treatment in the Spring 2011 Issue of Vim & Vigor.