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Debunking 5 Myths About Varicose Veins

5 Myths About Varicose Veins

Varicose veins, those twisted, bulging veins often found on the legs, have long been the subject of myths and misconceptions. Despite their prevalence, many misunderstandings surround these veins and their treatment. In this article, we delve into five common myths about varicose veins, separating fact from fiction to provide clarity and understanding.

  1. Varicose veins are only an appearance or cosmetic problem. People often think that varicose veins only affect how they look and choose to have them removed for cosmetic reasons. However, it’s important to know that varicose veins can also cause physical discomfort and pain. Symptoms may include swelling, burning, throbbing, heaviness, cramping, tingling, and restless legs. If varicose veins are left untreated, they can lead to more serious problems such as blood clots, infections, and ulcers.
  2. Varicose veins are exclusive to females. Although varicose veins are more commonly seen in women, this condition can also affect men. Some believe that the higher prevalence of varicose veins in women may be attributed to factors such as pregnancy, rapid weight gain, and hormonal changes. However, the exact reasons are still a matter of debate.

    For women who develop varicose veins during pregnancy, it is common for them to improve or fade away after giving birth. However, women who already have varicose veins should consider seeking treatment before getting pregnant, as the symptoms of varicose veins may worsen during pregnancy.

  3. Spider veins and varicose veins are the same entity. Varicose veins and spider veins are not the same. Spider veins are mostly a cosmetic concern and are generally harmless compared to varicose veins. Spider veins are characterized by small clusters of thin veins that appear close to the surface of the skin, resembling a spider web. While spider and varicose veins can have similar underlying causes, it is important to consult a healthcare professional to rule out the presence of varicose veins, even if you only have spider veins.
  4. Exercise causes varicose veins or makes them worse. Engaging in regular exercise does not cause varicose veins. In fact, staying active can actually help prevent the development of varicose veins. Varicose veins often occur due to factors such as weight gain and prolonged periods of sitting or standing. By staying physically active, you can maintain a healthy body weight and prevent your legs from being stagnant for long periods of time.

    If you already have varicose veins, it is recommended to engage in exercise while wearing compression stockings, as this can help alleviate symptoms. However, not all types of exercise are suitable for individuals with varicose veins, so it is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine which activities are safe and beneficial for you.

  5. Surgery is the only option to treat my varicose veins and I won’t be able to walk for some time afterwards. In the past, surgery was the primary treatment option for varicose veins. However, nowadays there are several alternatives available. When individuals are first diagnosed with varicose veins, doctors typically recommend implementing healthier lifestyle choices and using compression therapy to alleviate or reduce symptoms. If these lifestyle changes and compression therapy do not effectively treat the condition, physicians may suggest the following treatments:
  • Endovenous Ablation: This involves completely closing the affected vein to redirect the blood flow from the faulty superficial vein to the healthier deep veins.
  • Micro Phlebectomy: A minimally invasive procedure that involves removing the varicose veins from underneath the surface of the skin using a hook with a very small incision.
  • Sclerotherapy- this uses a needle approach to inject the varicose veins with a chemical to cause the faulty veins to block off and shrivel away over time. With keyhole ablation therapy patients have minimal discomfort and can go home the same day and walk immediately. They usually return to their normal routine within a couple of days and can start jogging within a week!
Dr tang
Dr Tang is highly regarded for his specialised clinical interests and skills in a wide range of vascular conditions.
Dr Wong is highly regarded for his specialised clinical interests and skills in a wide range of vascular conditions.

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