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Varicose Veins and Spider Veins Myths, Facts, and Modern Treatment Options

Varicose Veins and Spider Veins Myths, Facts, and Modern Treatment Options

Posted on August 17, 2021 by Dr. Stephen Rivard

Varicose veins are blue, enlarged, and twisted veins that are visible and felt under the skin, specifically in the legs and feet. They occur when leaking valves and weakened walls make it difficult for blood to flow back from the legs and feet to the heart.

Despite being a common condition, people still have unproven opinions, myths, and misconceptions about their development, susceptibility, and treatment. Below are some common myths about this disease and the modern treatment options available.

Myth 1: Varicose veins are cosmetic

While there is a cosmetic aspect of varicose veins, they can be seen on your legs and feet, which make most people uncomfortable wearing skirts or shorts. On the other hand, spider veins are a smaller varicose veins version that is purely cosmetic. Varicose veins can affect your health and self-esteem as they;
· Become painful and uncomfortable
· Cause swelling in the legs
· Change your skin color
· Bleed excessively when injured
· Increase risk of blood clots

Myth 2: Working on hard surfaces causes varicose veins

Interestingly, some people believe that working on hard surfaces, such as cement, can cause varicose veins. However, working on such surfaces contributes to musculoskeletal pains and has minimal influence on this condition. Venous pressure increases with prolonged inactivity, such as standing or sitting. However, short exercises and calf pump exercises can relieve these symptoms.

Myth 3: Only women get varicose veins

An American Society for Vascular Surgery study found that 20 million American adults have varicose veins. Even though varicose veins are common in women, men can also equally suffer this condition. Unknown to many, varicose veins is an inherited condition. Therefore, family history, and not gender, is a significant determining factor.

Myth 4: Varicose veins only affect adults

Even though varicose veins are common in adults aged 50 and above, young adults, children, and teens can also develop this condition.

.Myth 5: Surgery is the only available treatment option

Daily exercise, compression hose, reducing dietary salt, leg elevation, and weight reduction can alleviate the initial symptoms of varicose veins. However, if the condition progresses, surgery was the only available treatment option traditionally. However, this is now a myth since advanced technology has led to the inception of several minimally invasive treatment options.
While surgery may still be preferred in some situations, other modern approaches that can be used include;

1. Endovenous laser therapy
Unlike vein stripping, which was painful and required a lengthy recovery period, Endovenous laser therapy can be done within one hour, has better success rates, and patients can resume their normal activities soonest possible.
Delivering the right wavelength of laser energy closes the affected veins immediately, and the body automatically reroutes blood to other healthy veins. This procedure is also mildly painful, and patients may feel an unfamiliar sensation.
2. Sclerotherapy
Sclerotherapy is a modern treatment approach for spider veins. It involves closing veins through the injection of a sclerosing agent. The solution causes inflammation and ultimately destroys and hardens the blood vessel lining. Even though the varicose vein should be injected severally, sclerotherapy doesn’t require anesthesia and is effective if done properly.

Myth 6: Varicose veins can reoccur after treatment

While there are chances that varicose veins will reoccur after treatment, especially surgery, modern minimally invasive techniques have lowered these risks. Therefore, you can be sure that varicose veins won’t reoccur after modern treatment techniques.


Myths and misconceptions often hinder patients from seeking quality and effective treatments. If you are diagnosed with varicose veins and feeling pain and discomfort, ignore these unproven facts and find ways of getting relief. At Illinois Vein Specialists, we treat vein disease with modern methods that shorten recovery time. Our consultations are also quick and easy. Schedule a consultation today for immediate help.


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Tagged Varicose Vein Treatment, varicose vein disease, vein myths, treatment of vein disease, varicose and spider veins