Myths And Truths About Varicose And Spider Veins

Most people develop one or the other varicose vein or suffer from spider veins in the course of their lives. Although varicose veins are very widespread, myths still circulate about the development, causes, consequences and therapies of this venous condition. Most of these can be easily disproved with a little medical background knowledge. 

Myths And Truths About Varicose And Spider Veins

1. Varicose veins are only a cosmetic problem

Spider veins are millimeter-sized precursors of varicose veins, and women in particular find them disturbing when they appear on the thighs. Many are then ashamed to go to the swimming pool or the beach. In fact, spider veins are usually harmless. 

To get rid of them, various cosmetic treatment options are available. In some cases, however, they are the first sign of vein weakness and indicate that blood is beginning to pool in the veins. If there is a basic predisposition to varicose veins and those affected do not exercise and eat an unhealthy diet, spider veins can soon become extensive, nodular varicose veins. 

If varicose veins are not treated, the reduced blood flow can sooner or later lead to skin changes. 

Wounds around varicose veins heal poorly and the risk of thrombosis increases. If a blood clot has formed, it can block important vessels or even cause a life-threatening pulmonary embolism. Pulmonary embolism is the most serious complication of this chronic disease of the veins. 

2. Young people do not have varicose veins

Varicose veins develop over time and the risk clearly increases with age. However, whether a predisposition exists becomes apparent at a young age. In the 20-29 age group, spider veins already appear, which can develop into varicose veins with increasing age. 

There is also an increased tendency to water retention in the legs, skin changes and "heavy legs". In addition, women are particularly affected by varicose veins or spider veins during pregnancy. 

3. Varicose veins are a typical female problem

It is true that women have weaker connective tissue and are therefore more prone to varicose veins. However, the difference is not significant. However, women are more likely to go to the doctor with varicose veins and vein problems than men. 

This is because the men of creation dismiss varicose veins and spider veins as a trifle and only go to the doctor when severe skin changes, thromboses or an open leg have already occurred. 

4. Varicose veins and spider veins do not cause any complaints

Varicose veins do not come alone, more than 50 percent of respondents said they regularly suffered from pain and discomfort in their legs. 

These problems usually occur after standing for a long time. In addition, there are often calf cramps at night and general feelings of heaviness, tension, and swelling. The symptoms are so severe that those affected feel their quality of life is restricted. 

5. Varicose veins are the problem of certain occupational groups

Sitting or standing for long periods promotes the development of varicose veins. Therefore, not only saleswomen are affected by weak veins. 

Today's working world means that people sit at their desks for longer and longer periods without moving. This puts at least as much strain on the veins as standing for hours in a store or behind a counter in a restaurant. Those who already suffer from varicose veins often notice the feeling of heavy legs and swelling at the end of a long working day. 

6. Only rest helps with varicose veins

The health of the veins can be supported quite simply in everyday life if small distances are covered on foot or the stairs are used instead of the elevator. 

Whenever the an opportunity arises, everyone who has a sedentary job in the office should use their lunch break for a brisk walk. Alternatively, get off the train one stop earlier on the way home from work. 

Statistically, there are 800 meters between two stops, which makes for a nice walk. Vein gymnastics can also be done at the desk. It is enough to let the feet circle in between or to rock on the ball and heel alternately. In addition, gentle exercise is ideal for varicose veins. Vein specialists advise doing sports such as walking, cycling, or swimming. 

The reason: The movement patterns exercised there to activate the calf musculature and boost the blood circulation of the legs without straining them. 

7. Wrong footwear is to blame for varicose veins

High heels are chic and sexy, but in the long run, they put a lot of strain on the feet. The main symptoms are foot malpositions and callus formation. But to attribute varicose veins and spider veins to high heels alone does not do justice to the facts. It is clear that the veins suffer from every centimeter that the heel is higher. 

Women who already have a problem with varicose veins still don't have to walk through the world exclusively in health slippers from now on. Now and then it is perfectly fine to walk on high heels. Orthopedists advise to always vary the heel height. In between, include sessions of barefoot running. 

8. Crossed legs promote the development of varicose veins

Who does not know this? Crossing your legs while sitting is simply much more comfortable than having both legs on the floor. Women, in particular, prefer this sitting position. This does not turn healthy legs into varicose veins. Because they are still a matter of predisposition. 

The fact is, however, that sitting for long periods generally increases the risk of suffering from leg swelling and discomfort in the lower extremities. It, therefore, helps to change your sitting position every now and then and do some gymnastics at your desk in between. 

A hedgehog ball, gently moved by the feet, can also help. In between, desk workers should provide all kinds of exercise - and, for example, choose the longer route to the photocopier or the toilet, and at meetings with colleagues on another floor, do not pick up the phone, but simply walk there themselves. 

9. Vacation in sunny countries must not be allowed with varicose veins

There are no more people with varicose veins in the south than in more northern climes. The temperature as a reason not to travel with varicose veins or spider veins, in order to exclude an aggravation of the suffering is without any basis. 

Those who fly to sunny and tropical climes, however, must take care of their veins during a long-haul flight. Drinking plenty of fluids, wearing support stockings if necessary, and wearing light, loose-fitting clothing will make the trip more pleasant. 

At the vacation destination itself, varicose veins may become more noticeable due to the heat itself. This is because veins expand in the heat.

Here it helps to regularly visit the pool or the sea to cool down and not to expose the body to the blazing sun. Bicycle tours, treading water, and walks with bare feet on the beach please the veins. 

10. People with varicose veins must do sauna

Sauna is supposed to be taboo for varicose veins. But in fact, regular sweating does not pose a problem. Although the veins expand in the dry, hot sauna air, the cold shower afterward ensures that everything quickly contracts again. 

Shaving the legs, epilating, or waxing is also no problem. The only important thing is that there are no injuries or open wounds on the skin. Who is not sure, should ask the doctor in case of doubt. Otherwise, the rule is to be active instead of passive and to go through life having fun. 

The only important thing is to support the veins with correct footwear during outdoor activities such as jogging or hiking. Compression stockings can provide additional security during outdoor activities. 

11. Varicose vein treatment is no longer worthwhile after a certain age

Varicose vein therapies are performed regardless of age. However, it is better to counteract the development of varicose veins at a young age and maintain an active lifestyle with a healthy diet and exercise. Once they occur, venous disorders can bring considerable discomfort and lead to complications and serious consequences. In the worst case, the affected varicose veins must be removed by surgery; in addition, various conservative treatment options are available. If seniors are afraid of anesthesia, there are treatments that are effective but do not require anesthesia. 

12. Varicose veins must always be surgically removed

Surgical removal of varicose veins should always be a last resort. The stripping procedure is often chosen for this. Here, under anesthesia, the affected veins are separated and pulled out. However, there are also other methods in which the patient is injected with a drug into the affected veins. The veins then close up and are broken down by the body within a few weeks. In the case of mild symptoms, a patient can also use ointments and creams against varicose veins. 

13. Nothing can be done medically against varicose veins

The specialist for vein diseases is called a phlebologist. There is at least one such specialist in every city. In addition to ultrasound, the doctor has other painless methods at his disposal to assess the extent of varicose veins. In order to treat the disease, the physician has various options to choose from, depending on the severity of the clinical picture. 

If the varicose veins are not very pronounced, the doctor will advise venous gymnastics, medication , or compression therapy. If the varicose veins are too severe and symptoms have already occurred, surgical removal or sclerotherapy of the varicose veins by injection is usually an option. If you do not know a phlebologist, ask your family doctor to recommend a specialist. 

14. Treating varicose veins are very expensive

If there are no solid medical reasons, the statutory health insurance companies do not reimburse the costs of varicose vein removal. Nevertheless, patients should consult with their doctor and apply for reimbursement. 

There are other procedures for the permanent removal of varicose veins. Sclerotherapy requires no anesthesia, is effective, and is an inexpensive alternative to surgery. Those who decide to start by using creams and ointments to combat varicose veins will also find inexpensive preparations. 

15. Every pregnant woman gets varicose veins

It would be bad, but there are women who actually get through their pregnancy without varicose veins and spider veins. If there is a basic tendency to develop varicose veins, pregnancy can lead to venous disease. This is due to altered hormone levels, looser muscles, and connective tissue, and almost double the amount of blood rushing through the vessels. This can weaken even the strongest veins. However, varicose veins during pregnancy are usually not dangerous.

16. Varicose veins disappear by themselves after delivery

In most women, the varicose veins that developed during pregnancy will have disappeared no later than six months after delivery. However, there is no guarantee for this. Many women also retain these "souvenirs". Compression stockings, exercise, and other therapies can provide relief. Surgery should not be considered until childbearing plans are complete. This is because the varicose veins increase with each subsequent pregnancy so that surgery would have to be performed again.

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