5 Varicose Vein Myths, Debunked

5 Varicose Vein Myths, Debunked

Are you concerned about varicose veins and vein health? Varicose veins are large, swollen veins which can cause discomfort, and it can be confusing trying to understand how to prevent them or who might be at risk. Especially, with so many myths about varicose veins and what causes them ….


Vanessa Livingstone, Lead Nurse at UK Vein Clinic shares her thoughts on the common misconceptions many of us have when it comes to varicose veins.


Myth 1. Crossing your legs causes varicose veins

A particular favourite old wives’ tale is that crossing your legs, no matter where you’re sat: sofa, bus or desk, will cause varicose veins. This is incorrect, as the pressure caused by crossing your legs isn’t strong enough to damage your veins. Crossing your legs can only affect you if you already have varicose veins, as having them in this position for a prolonged period of time can aggravate symptoms. However, we do recommend making sure you move about regularly if you know you’ll be sitting down for long periods of time. This ensures there is sufficient circulation in your legs.


Myth 2. Varicose veins only occur in women

Yes, varicose veins are more common amongst women, yet men do suffer from the too. This misconception comes about because men can be more likely to delay getting their concerns checked out by their doctor, unless it causes them significant pain. Treatment can sometimes be brushed off as ‘cosmetic,’ yet varicose veins can have a significant impact on anyone’s physical and mental health. Men can sometimes hide their prominent veins more easily, which could lead to not sourcing treatment sooner. Unlike women, who often prefer to wear the clothes they enjoy without feeling self-conscious. The occurrence of varicose veins can appear in both men and women due to many lifestyle factors including genetics, weight and occupation.


Myth 3. Only older people get varicose veins

Ageing can make varicose veins worse due to natural wear and tear. However, they can affect anyone, of any age. This could be because you have family members who have varicose veins, meaning you have a higher chance of inheriting problems with varicose veins too. If you’re constantly on your feet all day, even sat at a desk you may be at risk due to the lack of circulation throughout your legs. Even if you don’t fall into any high-risk groups, it is worth being aware of the causes and symptoms of varicose veins.


Myth 4. Being pregnant gives you varicose veins

Mums-to-be have a lot of body changes to contend with – finding out they have varicose veins can sometimes be added to the list. Due to a mixture of hormone levels and an increase of blood to help support the baby, these factors can cause some pregnant women to develop varicose veins due to their body being under more physical stress. Thankfully, most mothers’ varicose veins improve after the baby is born; due to less strain being put on their blood vessels. Meaning, they don’t need to worry about receiving treatment, unless the veins reappear or continue to persist after birth.


Myth 5. It’s painful to get your veins treated

Many people don’t know that advances in varicose vein treatment have made the removal of varicose veins virtually pain-free. No more horrific vein stripping, an invasive technique which caused scarring and took weeks for patients to recover from, with many even having the issues return after a period of time. These days varicose vein treatments are minimally invasive, such as radiofrequency ablation which uses electric currents to make the vein fade away.


For more prominent veins, foam sclerotherapy can be used, which involves injecting a foam solution into the varicose vein, blocking its blood flow and collapsing it. These revolutionary procedures make recovery times faster, with patients able to receive walk-in/walk-out treatment on the day.


At UK Vein Clinic our world class treatment pathway has been designed by Professor Stephen Black, who is one of the UK’s leading vascular surgeons.


If you have concerns about your vein health, get in touch with UK Vein Clinic. Our team of helpful experts will provide you with advice and guidance to help you find the right treatment for you.

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We're pleased to be able to provide our world-class varicose vein treatment in a variety of places throughout the United Kingdom. Learn more about your treatment options, including endovenous radio-frequency ablation (EVRF) and foam sclerotherapy, at the clinic closest to you


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