“Top 10 myths about varicose veins busted – and if you can do anything to prevent them”
Varicose veins affect at least a third of the population, yet there are many myths about why certain people seem to suffer from the condition.
The Mirror explores and explodes the top 10 misconceptions.
- Workers who stand on their feet all day are more at risk of varicose veins
Getting varicose veins is more likely to be caused by genetics. However, if you do have a predisposition to varicose veins, standing and sitting will cause faster deterioration and increase the risk of complications.
- If you can’t see varicose veins, you haven’t got them
Approximately 30% of the adult population has venous disease affecting their legs, but only half of these have visible varicose veins. Varicose veins are often felt before they’re seen, with aching legs the first indication for most patients.
- You can prevent varicose veins
As the key factor is genetic, you can’t really prevent them. However, you can reduce the risk of complications.
- Crossing your legs causes varicose veins
Crossing your legs is not a direct factor, although a sedentary lifestyle will increase the risk of complications and deterioration.
- Only the old and overweight suffer from varicose veins
Varicose veins can affect the young and fit as well as the old and overweight. However, the longer we live, the more varicose veins are likely to become apparent. Those who are less physically active are prone to earlier complications and deterioration.
- Varicose veins are cosmetic and don’t need treatment
The NHS will not treat varicose veins unless there are other signs or symptoms such as discomfort or ulcers. However, without treatment, the veins are likely to worsen over time.
- They can be caused by pregnancy
Pregnancy doesn’t cause varicose veins, but the increased blood flow can make them more obvious as the veins are nearer the surface.
- There’s no point operating on varicose veins as they will only grow back
Old fashioned vein ‘stripping’ had a relatively high recurrence rate, but modern laser technology (EVLA) has a much higher success rate.
- Men can’t get varicose veins
Varicose veins affect both women and men, although women are more likely to seek help earlier.
- Varicose veins only occur on the legs
They are most commonly associated with the legs, but can actually occur in any malfunctioning vein below the heart.
So in summary, the Mirror explains that the key factor in varicose veins is a genetic predisposition – the problem very often runs in the family. Varicose veins are an inherited condition relating to inefficient valves in the veins which cause venous reflux – pooling of the blood as the valves give way and stop pumping all the blood efficiently back to the heart.
Issues such as weight gain, lifestyle (standing, sitting, exercise) age and pregnancy are factors which make complications or deterioration of the veins more likely, but they don’t actually form the root cause of varicose veins.
Read more in The Mirror.
Varicose Vein Treatment
Cosmedics Skin Clinics offer private varicose vein treatment and see many patients who have been refused treatment on the NHS and are keen to improve the appearance of their legs and stop the veins from getting worse.
Their London Vein Treatment Centre offers EVLA (endovenous laser ablation) laser varicose vein removal with a vascular surgeon with prices starting at £1,550 per leg (1 vein).
For more information or to book a consultation, please complete the form on this web page or call 020 7386 0464.