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Varicose Veins: Affecting both Men and Women Worldwide

by Matthew Dello Russo

Did you know that as many as 45% of men will experience varicose veins at some point in their lives? Unfortunately, the number one cause of varicose veins in both men and women is family history. If your mom or grandmother had varicose veins, you are more likely to have them. While you can make lifestyle changes to stop the progression or lessen the severity of varicose veins, genetics will determine whether or not they appear in your extremities.

Professions that require long periods of standing – like doctors, nurses, restaurant staff, or factory workers – are more likely to get varicose veins at some point in their life. Individuals who travel and spend long hours in a car or plane, like individuals who sit as a desk for hours on end, are also at greater risk. Varicose veins can affect men of all ages but the risk increases with age because of the loss of tissue tone and muscle mass, as well as a weakening of the venous walls.

Who Gets Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins and spider veins occur in both men and women of any age, but usually affect women in the later stages of their life. These veins are very common; some estimates suggest that about 10% to 15% of the total male population have varicose veins and the vast majority of older women do, too. A family history of varicose veins and older age increase one's tendency to develop varicose and spider veins.

Signs that you may have Varicose Veins

Restless legs at night may be an early sign of varicose veins. Leg pain during general activity - like casual strolls – may also be an indication that you have these veins in your family history. Generally men have the same symptoms as women; pain, leg heaviness, tiredness, muscle cramps and swelling. However, men are less likely to seek medical treatment in the event of these symptoms.

Next Steps

Varicose veins get progressively worse if not treated properly. These veins often grow more painful as time goes on, so treating them early is imperative if you want to keep an active lifestyle.

Many at home treatment, like medical-grade compression socks, can be used to offset the symptoms of varicose veins. Minor lifestyle changes or changes in occupation or work habits may also help, but will not address the underlying cause. Severe varicose veins can lead to serious complications such as skin breakdown and even blood clots.

Treatments don’t change for male and female patients, and they are just as effective for both genders. One such treatment is an endovenous laser treatment, or EVLT. This professional-grade laser procedure involves inserting a small laser fiber through the skin into the affected vein. Once it is sealed, the blood reroutes to other healthy veins. Some men may need sclerotherapy following EVLT.

The good news is that most patients are able to return to work almost immediately following treatment and eventually can resume the activities that they had been avoiding.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about varicose veins and how to treat them, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!

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