Find out what causes varicose veins

Frieda Pinto Scarlett Johannson

Q: Will sitting with my legs crossed cause varicose veins?

A: This common belief has never been proven, says Dr. Douglas Hill of The Vein Treatment Centre in Calgary. These often-painful, bulging purple veins develop thanks to their weak walls and malfunctioning valves that allow blood to flow away from the heart rather than toward it. Best way to slow the development of varicose veins? Exercise regularly (keeping your legs busy will improve blood circulation) and put your feet up a few times a day. In terms of treatment, endovenous laser treatment—one of the most recently developed procedures for varicose veins—involves inserting a laser fibre into the vein to burn it shut. At a cost of about $2,200 per leg, this method is less invasive than surgery and calls for only a few days recovery.