Vein Health

Myths About Varicose Veins

Even though the end of January is drawing near, Canadians are well aware that winter is far from over. And, for many Canadians, that’s a good thing. Mind you, they may not necessarily be fans of the cold. The opportunity to keep their legs covered helps to alleviate the stress that comes with exposing their varicose veins to the world. For the majority of people who have varicose veins, the view that the veins are “unsightly” is quite popular.

Varicose veins aren’t just a cosmetic issue.

While the lack of beauty associated with varicose veins is a matter of opinion, there are some facts about them that not everyone knows. As a result, there are some misconceptions about varicose veins that are important to uncover. The fact that they are only a cosmetic issue is one of them. On, Anne Harding explains that, in some cases, the veins cause aches, cramping and swelling of the legs.

“Other symptoms include severe dryness and itchiness of the skin near varicose veins,” she notes, “People with varicose veins are also at an increased risk for a dangerous type of blood clot known as deep vein thrombosis.”

Harding also cites Dr. Pablo Sung Yup Kim of Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine in New York City who notes that less common symptoms such as bleeding, skin discolouration, skin thickening and even ulcer formation is found in less than 10 percent of patients.

Varicose veins aren’t caused by sitting with your legs crossed.

Dr. Kathleen Gibson is a vascular surgeon and vein specialist at Lake Washington Vascular in Bellevue, Washington. She affirms that varicose veins don’t just pose cosmetic problems. In a special to HuffPost, Beth Levine reveals Dr. Gibson’s assertion that the veins can cause throbbing, aching and itching in the legs.

She also notes that advanced cases can cause dermatitis, thickened skin and swelling, especially if the person does a lot of standing or sitting. Dr. Gibson does, however, dispel the myth that sitting with your legs crossed can cause varicose veins to form.

Varicose veins aren’t women-only issues.

“What do cause varicose veins are heredity, and pregnancy, especially repeated pregnancies,” reports Dr. Gibson, “In patients that already have varicose veins, obesity or weight gain can make them worse. Although they are more prevalent in people who are older and female, they can also occur in males and younger people.”

This is another misconception that Dr. Gibson uncovers. Varicose veins are not women-only issues. “While varicose veins are more common in women, men get them, too,” she reiterates, “About one-quarter of adult women have some visible varicose veins, compared to 10 to 15 percent of men.”

What is the best way to treat varicose veins?

At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we proudly offer sclerotherapy which is a safe and effective treatment for eliminating or reducing spider and varicose veins. It is both a cosmetic treatment, which helps to rid patients of their small, surface spider veins and a medical treatment that helps to remove deep, large varicose veins.

If you have any questions or wish to book an appointment, please don’t hesitate to call us at 403-358-5818. You may also email us.