Shouldn’t I be able to see varicose veins on the surface of my legs?

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Question: If I have varicose veins that can be treated, shouldn’t I be able to see them on the surface of my leg? Or, can you have refluxing veins that aren’t obvious to the eye?

Answer: Some varicose veins are visible on the surface of the skin, however, not all of them. The two larger superficial veins, the great and small saphenous vein, exist about 0.5 – 1.5cm below the surface of the skin. They are considered superficial veins, but they are not visible on the surface of the skin in most people. Body habitus plays a big role in this as does genetic makeup.

If you have questions for Dr. Rose – submit them here: Vein Questions for Dr. Rose?