While varicose vein disease affects nearly 25% the entire U.S. population, many people often associate them with something that only occurs among older patients. This common misconception is in actuality a harmful vein myth. In fact, the primary cause is heredity, which accounts for about 80% of incidence, not aging.
At Illinois Vein Specialists we have seen patients as young as 17 with severe symptoms and large bulging veins, and we have also seen teenagers with just symptoms, but no physical signs. While it may be common for our practice to treat patients of all ages, much of the general public and even many physicians, whose primary education predates 2008 when the new specialty of venous and lymphatic medicine was established, do not.
When asked, “At what age do you develop varicose veins?” we generally respond that they can develop as early as your teens. However, the assumption behind the myth relies on the fact that vein disease is typically less visible in young patients because the disease has not had as long to produce noticeable effects. Therefore, close attention must be paid to other symptoms like pain, swelling, skin discoloration or poor wound healing. Moreover, a definitive diagnosis needs to be made via Doppler ultrasonography skillfully employed by a Certified Ultrasonographer.
It is important to remember that vein disease is real disease and requires immediate medical attention regardless if you have pain.