Varicose Veins: Not Just an Older Woman’s Problem

Varicose veins — enlarged blue-ish veins that show through your skin — are typically associated with older women. Although age may increase your risk of developing varicose veins, they can appear in both genders at any age.

This common problem we see at VeinMedic is caused by weakened valves inside the veins. The one-way valves in veins allow blood to travel to the heart, but when your valves weaken, your blood can collect, causing them to dilate and swell.

So if age and gender are just two risk factors for varicose veins, what else should you look out for? And how can you get rid of varicose veins? Here, Dr. Michael Kassouf discusses the risk factors and available treatment options for varicose veins.

Standing for prolonged periods

Standing desks are increasing in popularity, but they come with their own set of risks. Although sitting down for hours is often blamed for lower back pain, doing the opposite may increase your risk of developing varicose veins.

If you don’t use a traditional desk, or if you have a job that requires you to stand or walk throughout the day, consider wearing compression socks for added support.

Carrying extra pounds

Being overweight or obese puts more pressure on the valves inside your veins, potentially leading to varicose veins. Carrying too much body fat can also hide your varicose veins and allow them to worsen undetected.

Hormone therapies and hormonal shifts 

Hormonal treatments, such as hormone replacement therapy and contraceptives, have been shown to increase the risk of varicose veins. Women who go through significant hormonal shifts, such as during pregnancy or menopause, are also at a higher risk of developing varicose veins.

Treatments available for varicose veins

Although they’re not life-threatening, varicose veins are unsightly and can lead to numbness and pain. Fortunately, the VeinMedic team provides a variety of ways to eliminate your varicose veins that don’t require you to take time off from work or endure painful procedures. 

One of the minimally invasive procedures Dr. Kassouf uses to treat varicose veins is sclerotherapy, which involves injecting your veins with a sclerosant solution. Within four to six weeks after the procedure, your veins will shrink and disappear, and your body naturally routes the blood to healthier veins.

Another option for getting rid of varicose veins is endovenous ablation, a procedure that involves the use of lasers or radiofrequency energy to irritate the vein walls, causing them to collapse. A third, completely noninvasive, option is laser therapy.  

You might be asking, “Is it wise to make my veins shrink and disappear?” Fortunately, these procedures are safe and don’t come with any adverse effects.

If you want to learn more about varicose veins and your options for removing them, contact us at one of our New York City locations to schedule a consultation, or use our convenient online tool to request an appointment.

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