Varicose veins are surprisingly common, and they can be unsightly and uncomfortable. It’s important to get the right information when it comes to varicose veins, so here are a few common assumptions debunked.
Varicose veins are just unsightly
Varicose veins can appear twisted and enlarged, but many people will develop accompanying symptoms, including tired legs, aches, swelling, itching and cramping. More dangerous and long-lasting symptoms can arise in less than 10 per cent of sufferers, such as the thickening and discolouration of skin, ulcers and bleeding. According to Jocelyn Brooks, a radiologist, varicose veins can signal chronic venous insufficiency and the pressure can even lead to heavy periods and pelvic pain. It’s worth noting that varicose veins aren’t always visible. Most appear near the skin’s surface, but some can form deeper down underneath fatty tissue.
They are a woman’s issue that comes with age
Not everyone will develop varicose veins, and although age can make their appearance and symptoms worse, even young individuals can get them. Hormones and genetics are thought to contribute as risk factors. Around 25 per cent of women will develop some degree of varicose veins, but around 10 to 15 per cent of men will also be affected.
Too much running or too much sitting causes varicose veins
There is some debate regarding exercise and varicose veins, but typical advice is that exercise can significantly aid circulation. Compression stockings can lessen blood pooling around the calves while exercising, and keeping legs elevated after running can help. Meanwhile, standing or sitting for prolonged periods are thought to make symptoms worse instead of being a causal factor in the development of varicose veins.
Surgery is the only way forward
Lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy weight, elevating legs, and circulation-boosting exercises can all help with symptoms. Surgical removal of varicose veins, called stripping, is still a popular option, but less invasive techniques that don’t cause scarring are now in use, such as endothermic ablation. There are also medications, non-invasive laser treatments and sclerotherapy to consider. Don’t suffer in silence with varicose veins. Seek specialist help, such as the Cheshire varicose vein treatments provided at http://www.veinsolutions.co.uk/.
Unfortunately, there’s no guaranteed cure as varicose veins can return, but treatments can be very effective and lifestyle changes are recommended to help prevent their recurrence.