Veins, Varicose


Varicose veins were common on elderly legs during the 1950s and 60s, but over the past 30 years, they have largely fallen out of fashion, except in Eastbourne.

Varicose veins have a strong genetic component, and many take a form consistent with the ethnicity or cultural heritage of the owner.  For instance, in Indian women, they often resemble an aerial view of the Ganges delta, while in staunch Conservatives, they usually take the form of a noose.

Some people incorporate their varicose veins into tattoos, adding an intriguing extra dimension to the design, and 69-year-old Saphena Styles of Bishop Aukland, has had limed oak frames mounted around hers, holding regular exhibitions of her legs under the title Vein Glorious.

If they become painful, varicose veins can usually be removed with laser surgery or made inconspicuous by rubbing cooked beetroot into the affected limb(s).