Can I Get Varicose Veins When I’m Young?

October 5, 2020 Dr Zil

Bulging veins, insufficient circulation, discomfort and blood clots. These are all things that only affect old people right? Unfortunately, the truth is that even if you’re in your twenties you’re at risk of developing a vein disorder. While younger people are generally more physically resilient against disease and health issues, there are many factors that can lead to varicose veins and spider veins occurring in people as young as their early twenties.

What are varicose veins?

Veins are responsible for carrying oxygen-rich blood from around the body, back up to the heart. However, when vein valves, or vein walls, become damaged they can lead to Chronic Venous Insufficiency. As well as swelling and skin discolouration, one of the symptoms of CVI is varicose veins. When blood is not able to flow back up to the heart, it begins to reflux or pool, forming twisted, enlarged vessels you know as varicose veins.

The below illustration shows the blood flow in healthy veins vs varicose veins:

Diagram showing a normal vein vs a varicose vein.

Read more here: Varicose veins explained.

Can I get varicose veins when I’m young?

No matter your age, if you’re an adult then you’re at risk of developing varicose veins. It’s important to note that the risk is generally lower when you’re young and as you get older, the chances of developing varicose veins increases. Once you’re over 40 years of age the risks are considerably higher.

While there is a range of causes, some are particularly pertinent for those who are younger. These include:

  • Genetics: If you have a family history of varicose veins, spider veins or other circulation issues, you’re at much higher risk of developing a vein disorder.
  • Occupation: If you work in any role where you’re on your feet standing all day, especially hospitality, nursing, hairdressing, teaching or factory work, you’re at greatly increased risk of developing varicose veins. Learn more: Could your job be putting you at risk of varicose veins?
  • If you’re heavily overweight or obese, the pressure on your veins can increase exponentially.
  • Birth control pills, as well as hormonal medication (including HRT).
  • Previous surgeries, heavy trauma or other injuries to the skin and soft tissue can all cause issues here.

How do I get rid of varicose veins?

The best treatment for any issue is prevention. If you don’t have any varicose veins but fit into any of the potential causes above, then it’s important to take some simple preventative measures to take care of your veins now, and in the future.

Here are a few great tips for prevention:

  • At the end of each day, elevate your legs for 15 minutes. Laying on the ground with your feet resting on a chair, or with your legs up against the wall helps to use gravity to get the blood flowing back to your body.
  • Wear compression socks while working on your feet, travelling long distances in plane or car, or sitting at a desk for long periods of time.
  • Avoid clothes that are too tight or constrictive, instead opting for loose-fitting comfortable clothes. Fashion might be nice, but if it’s doing damage to your body, find a better fit to look good now and in the future.
  • Stay active, with walking breaks during work as well as a regular exercise routine.
  • Maintain a healthy diet, low in fat and sugar while increasing plant-based intake (fruits and vegetables)

If you have already developed varicose veins there are still a range of treatments available to manage and remove them, and these are best combined with the tips above for long-term vein health. These include:

  • Sclerotherapy: this involves injecting a solution to collapse the veins and divert blood flow through healthier veins.
  • Endovenous Laser Ablation: this treatment involves the use of a fibrous laser being inserted into the veins to make the vein disappear without risk of damaging the surrounding tissue.
  • Surgery: only recommended in extreme cases, as it is much higher risk, poses an increased risk of complication, can be quite painful and has a long recovery period.

Seek expert advice

The doctors at The Vein Institute specialise in varicose vein treatment. We offer patients a comprehensive treatment program to treat varicose veins, with non-surgical laser treatment techniques. The benefits of laser treatment to patients are;

  • Walk-in walk-out treatment
  • 98% success rate
  • Extremely effective
  • Can be performed at a clinic (no hospitalisation)
  • No general anaesthetic
  • Medicare rebates apply
  • No downtime or time away from work

To book a consultation and discuss our treatment program, call  1300 535 017. Or, make an enquiry via the Contact Us page.