Varicose veins are one of the commonest medical conditions. Thirty per cent of the adult population will suffer from varicose veins or varicose vein-related problems. Varicose veins affect men and women, although women tend to present at an earlier age, the veins often being precipitated by pregnancy. Because women wear skirts,they are four times more likely to complain and seek advice about treatment than men. When men present with varicose veins, they are usually of a long standing nature and often associated with quite marked skin changes.