Debunking the Most Common Vein Disease Myths That Exist Today
It’s estimated that more than 150,000 new patients are diagnosed with vein disease each year.
While vein disease isn’t uncommon, it is widely misunderstood.
If you are concerned about vein disease or just want to know more about it, keep reading. Here you can learn about some of the biggest myths and the truth about this condition.
Myth: Varicose Veins Are Only Cosmetic
A harmful misconception about cases of vein disease is that it is only a cosmetic issue rather than a legitimate health problem.
This myth has resulted in the idea that you don’t have to seek treatment for this condition unless you are in physical pain. If you have vein disease and don’t seek treatment, you will likely experience leg and ankle swelling, fatigue, and pain.
You may experience venous ulcers, a blood clot or DVT, and edema in more serious situations. Unfortunately, these symptoms of peripheral artery disease can result in serious and long-term issues.
Myth: Vein Disease Isn’t Hereditary
Cases of vein disease can be hereditary. If your parents or grandparents had this condition, there is a much higher chance that you will deal with it at some point in your life, as well.
Even if you don’t see the warning signs of a problem now, speak to your doctor about your medical history. This will ensure you and your doctor watch for early signs of this condition.
Just like many other conditions, early detection and treatment will help you avoid serious complications and symptoms in the future.
Myth: Spider and Varicose Veins Will Always Come Back After Treatment
This is actually far from the truth. It harkens back to when the main treatment option was vein stripping.
While vein stripping was performed with good intentions, this treatment often led to a reoccurrence of the varicose veins.
Today, significant advances have been made in lymphatic and venous medicine. This has resulted in significant progress in understanding different types of treatment for different vein diseases.
Also, new treatment methods have reduced the likelihood of recurrence to just five percent.
Spider veins can occur because of two primary issues. The first is hormonal, especially for women.
The treatment for hormonally induced spider veins can be successful for several years; however, recurrence can occur. In some cases, touch-up care may be required.
Another cause of spider veins is high pressure, which is the result of varicose veins. Once high-pressure issues are resolved, spider veins should be eliminated for good.
Thanks to innovative and state-of-the-art treatments, such as sclerotherapy and ultrasound-guided endogenous laser therapy, treatments are more efficient, safer, and more organized than before.
Also, these procedures are non-invasive and usually pose minimal risk for complications when you recover. Treatments, such as endovenous laser therapy allow your doctor to treat your varicose veins at the source.
The newer available techniques are less painful, require almost no downtime, and are more effective.
Myth: Vein Disease Only Affects Older People
Unfortunately, vein disease can affect people of all ages. Some people in their early 20s and late teens even deal with varicose veins.
As mentioned above, heredity does play a role in the prevalence of this disease. This means if your family has a history of vein disease, you may begin to see symptoms at an early age.
Other factors that may lead to the development of vein disease include:
- Standing for long periods of time
- Physical trauma
- Pregnancy hormones
If you have any of these risk factors, it’s smart to watch for signs of vein disease early. This will ensure you can see treatment if you notice a problem.
Myth: Insurance Won’t Cover Vein Disease Treatment
Since varicose veins and vein disease can cause more serious medical problems, most medical insurance will cover treatment.
Remember, the earlier vein disease is found and treated; the more successful the treatment will be.
In most cases, diagnostic ultrasound can be done to determine whether your insurance will cover the treatment required.
Myth: Vein Disease Is Only Skin Deep
Some people believe that vein disease will only impact the uppermost layers of the skin. They may also believe that treatments only work to eliminate the visible effects of the condition, which will help their legs look better.
These are the reasons so many people believe it is a cosmetic condition.
However, vein disease goes much deeper than your skin. The symptoms don’t stop when it comes to making the legs look bad.
This condition can also result in several other symptoms, including effects on the circulatory system. That’s why early treatment is so important – to keep the condition from getting worse.
Myth: Women Should Wait Until They Are Don’t Having Children to Treat Vein Disease
While many people know that pregnancy can result in high blood pressure, which causes all types of vein complications, it doesn’t mean that treatment can’t be sought.
Unfortunately, some people still believe they must wait until they are done having children to have their veins treated. Many women had issues before pregnancy or while they were pregnant.
However, once the condition is treated, the discomfort, swelling, and pain related to the condition won’t come back. It also means the vein issues will disappear from the body, which means it doesn’t make sense to put off treatment.
If you have a family history of vein disease, it makes sense to be screened for this condition and treated to prevent unnecessary suffering before, during, or after pregnancy.
If a woman develops varicose veins while pregnant after delivery and recovery, it’s a good idea to have the condition evaluated and treated before getting pregnant again.
Myth: Vein Disease Only Affects Women
While women experience higher incidences of vein disease, it doesn’t mean that men are immune to it.
One of the main reasons women experience this condition more is related to how hormones impact the vein walls. This is particularly true during pregnancy.
However, many men also experience vein disease. Up to 25% of men will experience something called venous reflux.
Myth: Crossing Your Legs Results in Varicose Veins
This is a big “no.” Crossing your legs won’t cause varicose veins.
Even though an increase in pressure can cause blood to pool in a vein and make it bulge, external pressure causes this. Defective valves usually cause it in the veins or weak vein walls.
Myth: Compression Stockings Will Cure Cases of Vein Disease
While compression stockings are beneficial for those with vein disease, they won’t cure the condition.
What these stockings can help with is reducing symptoms such as pain in the legs and swelling. Beyond this, though, the stockings don’t solve the underlying problems, which means they aren’t a long-term or permanent solution.
Myth: All Laser Vein Treatments Are the Same
External lasers can be used for treating spider veins for cosmetic purposes. However, this treatment won’t help or cure the underlying cause of vein disease.
It’s been shown that endovenous ablation is about 98% effective at a patient’s one-month follow-up and 93.4% at the two-year follow-up.
Myth: Running Can Result in Varicose Veins
Exercising, which includes running, is good for your veins. It helps with circulation.
Walking and running result in more blood pumping through the calf muscles and returning to the heart. Running regularly won’t cause varicose veins.
However, you can use compression stockings to help keep blood from pooling in your legs while you exercise.
Myth: Skin Ulcers Only Require Wound Care
Ulcers that are caused by vein disease are not like traditional wounds. They can recur and take longer to treat and heal.
The reason for this is the underlying issue that causes them to stick around.
If you develop ulcers caused by vein disease, just treating the ulcers isn’t enough. You need to address the underlying condition so the ulcers don’t come back.
Now You Understand the Truth About Vein Disease
As you can see, there are more than a few myths about vein disease floating around. Understanding the truth, which has been explained here, is a great way to treat the problem and ensure it doesn’t come back.
Make sure you consult with your doctor if you believe you are dealing with vein disease or something your parents or grandparents dealt with.
Are you looking for more health-related information and resources? If so, be sure to read some of our other blogs. Our team posts new content regularly to help ensure you stay informed.