Debunking 6 Common Varicose Vein Myths
People have misconceptions about varicose veins and their treatment. Before we get into common myths about varicose veins, you should see a vein specialist
Up to 30% of Australians report having varicose veins. Given how high this percentage is, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to believe that most people have a basic understanding of what they are, how they occur, and what to do if you detect varicose veins. However, people have many misconceptions about varicose veins and their treatment. Before we get into common myths about varicose veins and when you should see a vein specialist, let’s look at what varicose veins are.
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are veins located just under the skin (superficial) that have become enlarged and twisted. These usually occur in the legs because of the added pressure of standing and walking. Varicose veins are most often a cosmetic problem, but for some people, they may cause discomfort and pain and may be a sign of other underlying issues.
Common Varicose Vein Myths
Myth 1: Varicose veins are an inevitable sign of ageing
Many people believe that as you age, it is inevitable that you will start experiencing the signs of varicose veins. While it is true that your chances of developing varicose veins increase with age, not every person above a certain age will get them. There are ways to prevent them, such as losing weight if you’re overweight, avoiding standing or sitting for long periods, exercising regularly and putting your feet up when you sit down.
Myth 2: Only women get varicose veins
Varicose veins don’t discriminate between genders. While it is true that women are more likely to develop the condition due to hormonal changes associated with pregnancy, post-pregnancy, and menopause, up to 45% of men may also develop varicose veins at some point. Family history is a strong determinant of whether you’ll develop the condition.
Myth 3: Crossing legs may affect varicose veins
Although crossing your legs or ankles regularly may cause postural problems and eventually can cause back and hip pain, there is no evidence to prove that sitting cross-legged causes varicose veins. Varicose veins are primarily genetic, although other factors such as pregnancy or menopause, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle or a history of DVT or leg injuries play a part.
Myth 4: Varicose veins are only a cosmetic issue
For many people, this might be true. However, varicose veins often occur because of a fault with the valves inside veins. These valves allow blood to flow back from the legs to the heart. When these valves get weak or damaged, blood starts pooling inside the vein, stretching the walls and causing the veins to swell and twist. In some people, these swollen veins can cause itching, an achy or heavy feeling in the legs, muscle cramping and swelling in the legs, throbbing, burning, and pain after standing or sitting for a long time.
Varicose veins may indicate a progressive disease called chronic venous insufficiency, which can cause poor wound healing, ulcers, and blood clots. In those circumstances, it is essential to treat varicose veins.
5: Varicose vein treatment is painful
For decades it has been cinsider as a painful process. With advancements in medicine and technology, many minimally invasive varicose vein treatments are now available. These include Venaseal Glue, Radiofrequency Ablation, and Endovenous Laser. Venaseal Glue is one of the most minimally invasive treatments with the fastest recovery. It also has many advantages over heat treatments (radiofrequency ablation and endovenous laser ablation) and surgery.
In a Venaseal Glue treatment, there are no hospital stays required or even an anesthetic, it doesn’t require you to take time off work and it allows you to return to exercise and everyday activities rapidly.
Myth 6: Exercise will make my varicose veins worse
If the added pressure of standing for too long is causing your varicose veins, exercise should only make it worse, right? Wrong! Exercising regularly keeps your blood pumping more smoothly, burns fat and helps keep excess weight off, all of which help keep your veins healthy. There is no evidence that running, jogging or walking causes varicose veins. However, if you already have varicose veins, it might be a good idea to wear compression garments on your legs when exercising.
If you’re observing the appearance of varicose veins anywhere on your body, it might be worth getting them evaluated by a doctor, especially if they’re painful. A vein specialist can help determine if your varicose veins are merely a cosmetic issue or if you require varicose vein treatment in Melbourne.