Are you concerned about varicose veins? If so, you are not alone: approximately 50% of adults over age 50 have varicose veins and they tend to increase with age. However, there are a lot of misconceptions about the causes of varicose veins and the most effective treatments available.
Dr Zil Yassine founded The Vein Institute to care for patients afflicted with vein disorders. Here Dr Yassine debunks 7 common misconceptions you might have heard about varicose veins.
Myth 1: Pregnancy causes varicose veins.
“Pregnancy can aggravate varicose veins that are already there, but it doesn’t cause them,” says Dr Yassine. In fact, you might not notice that you have any varicose veins until you get pregnant, but then the growing uterus and baby place extra stress on the veins in the pelvic area, and then down into the thighs and lower legs. This pressure can exacerbate existing varicose veins.
Myth 2: You can cure varicose veins with massage.
While massage can reduce discomfort and swelling from varicose veins, it will not cure them or make their symptoms disappear. Effective treatment options for varicose veins include laser treatment and sclerotherapy, both of which can cure most cases of varicose veins.
Myth 3: A family history of varicose veins means you will have them too.
According to the Victoria State Government health channel, the main causes of varicose veins are standing or sitting for long periods of time, being immobile for long periods of time (for example, in bed due to illness), a lack of exercise, and obesity. Some people with a family history of varicose veins will also have them, but many will not.
Myth 4: Crossing your legs leads to varicose veins
“There is no evidence that crossing your legs will cause varicose veins,” says Dr Yassine. The pressure that causes varicose veins comes from inside the body, not from anything external. This means that tight clothing won’t cause varicose veins either.
Myth 5: Professional vein treatments eliminate the need for compression stockings.
In fact, compression stockings are often the first treatment step for varicose veins. According to DermNet NZ, if you have sclerotherapy, compression stockings are required during the recovery period. You may need to wear them for 5- 7 days. For most patients having medical treatments such as endovenous laser ablation or Venaseal additional treatment is usually required with sclerotherapy.
Myth 6: Tattoos cause varicose veins.
“There is no reason to believe that tattoos cause varicose veins or that they aggravate existing varicose veins,” says Dr Yassine.
Myth 7: Women should wait until menopause or after they’ve had all the children they want to treat varicose veins.
Dr Yassine says, “Varicose vein treatment can be beneficial at almost any age, even before having children.” The treatment reduces the risk of later medical problems and eliminates unpleasant symptoms relatively quickly.
Ultimately, there is no guaranteed way to prevent varicose veins, but Dr Yassine notes that maintaining a healthy weight and a regular exercise program can reduce your risk of developing or aggravating them.
At The Vein Institute we offer the latest treatment including ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy, endovenous laser ablation and medical superglue. With patients of varying age experiencing positive positive outcomes.
If you do develop varicose veins, an assessment by a professional vein specialist is recommended. Give us a call at 1 300 535 017, and we’ll be happy to answer all of your questions.