Most people mistakenly associate varicose veins as a middle-to-older age women’s condition. While women are more likely to develop problematic veins due to a number of risk factors such as hormonal influences during pregnancy, puberty and menopause and use of oral contraception – men are not excluded!
Veins, a part of the circulatory system, are found throughout the body and help transport blood to and from vital organs and tissues. One-way valves within the veins help keep blood moving in the right direction towards the heart. When these valves malfunction, blood is allowed to pool, or puddle, in the veins causing them to become enlarged and developing into varicose or spider veins.
- Your no. 1 risk factor is genetics. If you have a family history of varicose veins, you should monitor any symptoms closely as you are at a higher chance of developing venous disease. Additional risk factors include high blood pressure, being overweight, lack of exercise and smoking.
- Your first sign of trouble may be the appearance of a bulging vein on the legs. The first sign of venous disease is sometimes aesthetic – a swollen, twisted vein appearing on the surface of the skin. Additional symptoms may include slight pain or burning in the legs followed by swelling, aching, throbbing, itching and heaviness in the affected area. Symptoms of varicose veins are the same for both men and women, although women often seek treatment earlier to remedy the unsightly appearance.
- Treatment is easy so don’t wait! The mere appearance of varicose veins is often not enough to nudge a male in for a consult. Many men wait until the pain and discomfort are negatively impacting their work and quality of life. At this stage, varicose veins become harder to treat especially if ulcers have formed. Fortunately, there are a number of treatment options available with little to no downtime, so there is no reason to wait.
The moral of the story for men is: do not ignore the symptoms of varicose veins. You should not feel shameful about the development of any venous disease. It can arise simply as a result of normal wear and tear of aging on the veins. Many athletes also develop varicose veins despite their activities and efforts to maintain a healthy weight and body physique.
There are steps you can take at home to ease symptoms of varicose veins but they do not replace the careful evaluation of a vascular expert. If you are experiencing symptoms of varicose veins request a consult with one of the experienced vascular surgeons at Premier Vein Clinics of Knoxville. If at home care is unable to bring you relief, we offer a number of advanced treatment options.