Varicose veins and spider veins are unsightly and sometimes even painful complaints. Given the problems they pose and the frequency of their occurrence in more than half of those over 50, it is not surprising that a number of myths circulate about these circulatory problems. This article deals with some common myths and refutes their existence.
Varicose veins are caused by defective valves in the veins. Valves generally ensure that the blood flows smoothly and does not flow in the wrong direction. When valves lose their ability to function properly, blood can pool, causing painful accumulations of old blood that looks like thick blue or purple snakes under the skin. Some myths related to varicose veins are:
- Only women get it. While the majority of those affected are in fact women, 15% of men over the age of 50 also suffer from this venous insufficiency. Since genetics and lifestyle affect your chances of developing varicose veins, men and women can contract this problem for several reasons.
- These are just cosmetic issues. Varicose veins can be an embarrassing phenomenon on your legs. However, they can progress to deep vein thrombosis, which leads to blood clots and inflammation.
- There is nothing you can do about it. Although home treatments such as leg lifts and compression stockings can help, varicose veins can be treated with mildly invasive methods such as laser therapy and sclerotherapy. This allows you to get rid of this discomfort without intensive surgery.
Spider veins, which, like younger siblings, are varicose, are also very common. They usually appear in addition to the legs like the nose and cheeks. Spider veins are usually not as serious as varicose veins, but there are still several myths circulating, including:
- Tanning corrects this problem. Many people think that a tan is a cure for their spider veins. Yes, the sun causes the skin to produce more melanin, which makes it darker, making these issues harder to spot. However, long-term exposure to the sun can lead you to develop these venous insufficiencies.
- You are only hereditary. Although spider veins can have a genetic connection, things like sitting, standing, or crossing your legs for a long time can contribute to this problem. If you keep a stable and healthy weight, you can also keep them at bay.
- Special creams can make them go away. Some creams and lotions claim to cleanse your spider veins. While vitamin K can help improve the appearance of your skin, the only guaranteed way to get rid of spider veins is through laser ablation or high frequency therapy.