Got varicose veins? You’re not alone. Although the vein problem is fairly common, there’s a lot of misinformation out there about it. Your vein doctor is here to set the record straight and let you know what’s a fact and what’s a myth when it comes to varicose veins.
Myth and Facts About Varicose Veins from a Vein Doctor
Fact: Lots of People Have Them
It’s true. Varicose veins are a very common problem. According to the Society of Interventional Radiology, about half of the US population has some type of venous disease. Nearly a quarter of the population has visible varicose veins. Varicose veins are more prevalent among older populations. About half of people over age 50 have them, for example.
Myth: They Are Only a Cosmetic Concern
One all too common myth about varicose veins is that they are just a cosmetic issue. It’s true that for some people, the veins are little more than an embarrassment. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t cause symptoms or aren’t a cause for medical concern for every patient.
Some people experience pain and discomfort as a result of their varicose veins, for example. The veins can also lead to a skin problem known as dermatitis, which is a type of rash. Some people develop a blood clot, or superficial thrombophlebitis, in their varicose veins.
Fact: A Number of Factors Cause Them
Several things can cause a person to develop varicose veins or increase a person’s risk for developing them. Varicose veins form when a valve in the vein becomes weak and is no longer able to hold in the blood as it pumped up the leg. Pressure in the legs, caused by extra weight, standing a lot or aging, can increase a person’s chances of developing varicose veins.
Myth: You Get Them By Crossing Your Legs
For years, people claimed that crossing your legs would make you develop varicose veins. That’s not true. What is true is that crossed legs can make already existing varicose veins worse or more visible. The pressure put on your legs by crossing them isn’t great enough to weaken the valves in your veins.
If you like to wear tight clothing, you can rest easy too. Just as crossing your legs won’t cause varicose veins, neither will tight or restrictive garments.
Fact: You Can Treat Them
Lots of treatment options exist for varicose veins, from home treatments to surgery. Your vein doctor can review all the options available with you and help you decide which one is best.
Myth: Treatment is Invasive
More good news: not all varicose vein treatments are invasive. Ambulatory phlebectomy, for example, involves tiny incisions, doesn’t require general anesthesia and has a quick recovery time.
Your vein doctor is here to answer any additional questions you have about varicose veins or venous disease. Contact us today for more details.