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What if a varicose vein bursts?

Varicose veins look like swollen blue or dark purple veins, usually appearing on the legs and feet. For most people, they are only a cosmetic problem. If a varicose vein bursts, it can result in painful bruising and swelling.

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Age causes blood vessels to weaken over time. If a blood vessel is weakened enough, blood pools to cause varicose veins to swell and, in rare instances, burst. Varicose veins are more vulnerable to physical injury as well.


Bruises result when a varicose vein bursts. Bruises are caused by veins near the surface of the skin bursting, usually due to physical trauma.


Ice the area of the bruise and elevate the leg as much as possible. The body will completely absorb the blood in the area of the bruise within a couple of weeks.


If the bruising and swelling is large enough to suspect severe internal bleeding (haemorrhage), contact a doctor or hospital immediately as it may signal a fatal condition.


Improving your circulation lowers the risk of varicose veins and their complications significantly. Exercise, lower weight and elevating the legs all help treat and prevent varicose veins.

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About the Author

John Wu

John Wu is a writer who has covered computers, health, fitness and business since 2008 for various online publications. He is also an IT manager at a government agency. Wu holds a B.A. in legal studies from University of California, Berkeley and a B.S. in computer science from San Jose State University.

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