How do varicose veins develop?
If valves fail to close properly, so-called “reflux” is the result. This means, that blood flows back and forth. Deficient valves are either due to widening of the vein or to degeneration of the leaflets.
Reflux leads to chronic venous hypertension. As a consequence, veins dilate even more, elongate and become tortuous. This is the characteristic appearance of varicose veins.
In advanced venous disease, the skin can break down thus leading to ulcer formation (lat. ulcus cruris). Consequently, the prominent objective of any treatment for varicose veins is to abolish venous reflux – or, at least, to reduce it.