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5 Common Myths About Varicose Veins

November 14, 2019 • Our Blog • varicose veinsVein Specialist
Businessman showing unbalance between facts and myths on wooden seesaw

Don’t let these common misconceptions prevent you from seeking treatment for uncomfortable varicose veins.

Like many medical conditions, varicose veins are the subject of a variety of deceptive myths. Unfortunately, these misconceptions often prevent people from getting the therapy they need to eliminate their painful, protruding veins.

The truth is, you don’t have to suffer the discomfort of varicose veins when there are a number of effective treatment options available. A vein specialist can help determine the right therapy for you, as well as recommend lifestyle changes to ease your symptoms. But first, let’s take a look at five of the most common myths about varicose veins — and uncover what the truth really is.

1. Varicose Veins Are Just a Cosmetic Issue

While it’s true that many people seek treatment because they don’t like the appearance of their varicose veins, just as many suffer from painful symptoms such as swollen, throbbing, and itching legs. These symptoms can interfere with sleep and make everyday activities difficult. In some cases, varicose veins may not be visible because they are deep in the leg, yet you feel a sense of discomfort all the same. What’s more, varicose veins have been linked to an elevated risk of blood clots or the emergence of skin ulcers — serious conditions that require medical intervention.

2. Crossing Your Leg Causes Varicose Veins

This myth has been around for a while, but it’s simply not true. There are no scientific studies to support the claim that crossing your legs causes varicose veins. However, if you already have varicose veins and sit at a desk all day with your legs crossed, you might notice the symptoms become more bothersome. That’s because sitting for long periods adds extra pressure on dysfunctioning valves in the veins, rendering them unable to push back against the downward flow of blood. While crossing your legs does not cause varicose veins, it’s usually a good idea to get up and move around instead of staying seated all day.

3. Massage or Essential Oils Can Cure Varicose Veins

Although topical ointments and herbal remedies like witch hazel have been touted as cures for varicose veins, these treatments only provide temporary relief from pain and swelling. The same is true for massaging your varicose veins. While these self-care treatments aren’t harmful, continuing to use them may delay you from exploring other methods that actually cure varicose veins. Those methods include several minimally invasive, virtually painless surgical procedures performed in a vein specialist’s office.

4. Only Women Get Varicose Veins

Like so many misconceptions about varicose veins, the facts don’t support this assumption. Statistically speaking, more women do get varicose veins, but men are also affected. One study estimated that between 25 and 30 percent of female adults have varicose veins, while the prevalence among men is about 10 to 20 percent. Those numbers dispel the myth that varicose veins are strictly a woman’s health problem.

5. Only Older People Get Varicose Veins

Advanced age is a risk factor for varicose veins, according to the Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. One study estimated that some 22 million women and 11 million men between the ages of 40 and 80 have varicose veins. Other estimates put the number at one out of two people age 50 or older. Yet excess weight and inactivity as well as pregnancy and family history also increase the chances of developing varicose veins. Fortunately, varicose veins aren’t inevitable even if you are at a greater risk. Staying active and controlling your weight at any age can reduce your chances of developing varicose veins.

Is it Time to Treat Your Varicose Veins?

Don’t put up with the discomfort of varicose veins any longer. The doctors and staff at Bellamah Vein Center specialize in vascular health and can discuss treatment options to permanently erase those painful veins. Contact us today to set up an appointment.

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