What Age Do You Get Varicose Veins?

What Age Do You Get Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are enlarged, twisted veins that are visible beneath the skin's surface, and are commonly associated with ageing, particularly those over the age of 50. However, it's a misconception that they exclusively affect older adults; varicose veins can in fact, impact young adults, even those in their 20s, which can be down to several factors that contribute to their development at a young age.

Are varicose veins common in young adults?

While it is a known fact that varicose veins are more prevalent in older people, they can indeed affect young adults. There are several key factors such as genetics, lifestyle choices, and certain health conditions that can contribute to the development of varicose veins at a relatively young age. Although the risk of developing them certainly increases with age, it's important to recognise the potential for varicose veins development in younger people.

What causes varicose veins at a young age?

When we think about varicose veins and what causes them, age is usually a common thought. As we get older, the valves in our veins start to weaken and lose their elasticity and strength which increases the risk of developing varicose veins. However, there are also many other contributions to the development of varicose veins, particularly at a young age:

Genetic predisposition

One of the main reasons that can influence the development of varicose veins in a younger person is their genetics. If someone has a family history of varicose veins, their likelihood of developing them younger increases. Genetic factors contribute to weakened vein walls and faulty valves, making them more susceptible to enlargement and twisting.

Lifestyle factors

Certain jobs and lifestyles that involve prolonged periods of standing or sitting can contribute to the development of varicose veins, especially in younger people. Jobs that require extended periods of standing without sufficient breaks or those involving prolonged sitting, such as desk jobs, can affect blood circulation and increase the risk of varicose veins.

Hormonal changes

Hormonal fluctuations, particularly in women, can play a key role in the development of varicose veins. Puberty, pregnancy, and the use of hormonal contraceptives can influence vein health and can make them susceptible to becoming varicose. During pregnancy, the growing uterus puts pressure on the veins, potentially leading to the development of varicose veins.

Minimal physical activity & obesity

Maintaining a healthy weight and making sure you do regular physical activity are vital for overall vein health. Obesity can exert excess pressure on veins, leading to the weakening of vein walls and valves which makes them more at risk of becoming varicose. Lack of exercise can also contribute to poor circulation, which also increases the risk of varicose veins developing.

How to prevent varicose veins from developing at a young age

Although more often than not it is down to hereditary factors that cause varicose veins to appear at a young age, there are several things that can be done to minimise the risk as much as possible, and to improve your overall vascular health. 

Do regular exercise - Regular physical activity, such as walking, swimming, or cycling, promotes healthy blood circulation and strengthens the muscles that support vein function. Doing exercises that target the legs, such as leg lifts and ankle circles, can be particularly beneficial as varicose veins are most commonly found in the lower parts of the body. 

Maintain a healthy weight - Maintaining a healthy weight is a great way of reducing the strain on veins and as a result, lowers the risk of varicose veins. A balanced diet, rich in fibre and low in salt, can contribute to weight management and overall vein and vascular health.

Avoiding long periods of sitting and standing - Those with jobs that involve standing or sitting for prolonged periods of time should take regular breaks to stretch and move around to get the legs moving and blood flowing. Because gravity constantly pulls on your blood, long periods of sitting and standing puts pressure on your veins and causes  blood to pool in your legs and feet regardless of your position. Simple leg exercises, like ankle pumps and calf raises, can be done discreetly and help prevent blood from pooling in the veins.

How to get rid of varicose veins at a young age

The good news is that there are several treatment options available to get rid of varicose veins for good. At UK Vein Clinic, we always start the process with a consultation so we can discuss your condition and recommend the best treatment option for you. We offer the following treatment for effective removal of varicose veins:

Radiofrequency Ablation

Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that uses heat generated by radiofrequency energy to close off the affected vein, redirecting blood flow to healthier veins. The procedure is typically performed as a one-time treatment, with patients experiencing minimal discomfort and a relatively short recovery period.

Foam Sclerotherapy

Foam sclerotherapy is another popular method for removing varicose veins in young adults, particularly those closer to the skin's surface and also varicose veins in the legs. This procedure involves injecting a specialised foam solution into the affected veins, causing them to collapse and eventually fade.

Book a consultation with us if you’re considering more long-term treatments for removing varicose veins

Varicose veins are not exclusive to older adults or the elderly, young people can also be affected. Genetic factors, lifestyle choices, hormonal changes, and weight all contribute to their development at a young age. Recognising what the risk factors are and trying to incorporate some preventive measures including regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding long periods of sitting and standing, can significantly reduce the likelihood of varicose veins. If you notice symptoms or have a family history of varicose veins, consult with a vein specialist here at UK Vein Clinic for personalised advice on how to manage and prevent this vascular condition.

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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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