It’s often thought that varicose veins are a ‘women’s problem’ and certainly many more women seek treatment due to unhappiness with the appearance of their legs, but actually a similar number of men are affected, with that number rising in both sexes as they get older.
Varicose veins typically are a cosmetic problem and that might be one of the underlying reasons why men do not seek out treatment. However, left untreated, varicose veins can develop into more serious health concerns and, even in the short term, can cause chronic aching and itching which is less than satisfactory.
1 Varicose veins: more than cosmetic
Healthy veins pump the blood smoothly back up to your heart but when the small valves inside the veins stop working properly, the blood can flow backwards and collect in the vein, causing it to become swollen and enlarged.
However, as well as their lumpy appearance and darker, purple colour, it can cause a whole host of other problems:
- Aching legs that can feel heavy or uncomfortable
- Swollen ankles and feet
- A burning or throbbing sensation in your legs
- Muscle cramps in your legs – these can be worse at night, keeping sufferers awake
- Dry, thin skin over the vein that can become very itchy
2 Varicose veins: now you’re not alone
Middle-aged women aren’t the only sufferers of varicose veins. Many men can develop them and they can develop from puberty onwards.
So, the message to male patients is: don’t wait to seek treatment – prevent varicose veins from becoming a bigger problem.
3 Varicose veins: reduce less than satisfactory lifestyle habits
Although it’s hard to pinpoint an exact cause of varicose veins, there are certain lifestyle factors that are linked to an increased susceptibility to developing them. These include being overweight and inactive. Other factors include your hormones, your age and a genetic predisposition.
4 Varicose veins: seek treatment
As well as being less motivated to deal with a ‘cosmetic’ problem, men can often be reluctant to undergo treatment if they think it will be invasive or involve much downtime or recovery. The good news is that there is now a whole range of minimally invasive treatments available, including Venaseal, VNUS Closure, Endovenous Laser Ablation or Mechanicochemical Ablation.
Don’t assume any leg pain is a result of muscle fatigue or pulled muscle after a strenuous workout. Call 01872 308 520 to arrange your consultation at the Cornwall Vein Clinic if you’re concerned about varicose veins.