Risk factors for the development of progression chronic venous disease (CVD) and varicose veins are widespread and include advanced age, excess body weight, sedentary lifestyles and occupations, family history, and pregnancy. Varicose veins and CVD are associated with venous hypertension, venous reflux, dysfunctional venous valves, and vein wall inflammation, though the precise etiologies are unclear. Once venous pathology develops, it can progress through a vicious cycle of inflammation and leukocyte recruitment that leads to further deterioration of vein walls and valves, increased hypertension, and release of additional proinflammatory mediators. Early treatment of symptomatic varicose veins and CVD as well as lifestyle changes can help break the inflammatory cycle and alleviate symptoms. Physicians and patients should be aware of the risk factors for CVD, the treatments and measures available to slow disease progression, and the serious consequences of allowing the disease to progress unchecked.