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8 Myths about Varicose Veins

PORTADAS WEB_varicose veins
Carlos Esteban Gracia
Angiology consultations, vascular check-up, venous echo-Doppler
03 Mar 2024
3 Min
Health tips
  • March 3rd marks “National Day for the Prevention of Venous Diseases.” To raise awareness about the impact of these pathologies, we want to debunk some myths that exist about Varicose Veins.


What are varicose veins?

Varicose veins are dilated and deformed superficial veins, usually found in the legs.

Veins have the function of collecting blood and directing it back to the heart, thanks to their valves that keep the blood flowing in the proper direction.

When the walls of the veins and their valves weaken, blood does not flow well and causes a buildup of blood inside the leg that causes the veins to dilate and become visible and palpable. This is called Venous Insufficiency.

Myths about Varicose Veins

Myth 1: Varicose veins are only a cosmetic problem
Although varicose veins begin as an ailment that visually impairs the leg, it is really a pathology caused by a malfunction of the return veins. This happens due to a failure of the vein valves, causing it to dilate due to the accumulated blood.

For this reason, if they are not treated, in the long term they can cause health complications.

Myth 2: Crossing your legs causes varicose veins
Good blood circulation is key to having healthy legs. Crossing your legs creates pressure and contraction, and that can worsen circulation, but it does not cause varicose veins.
Varicose veins are caused by damaged valves, and crossing your legs does not damage the valves.

Myth 3: Only women have varicose veins
Although it is true that this pathology has a greater incidence in women due to the hormonal factor (between 3 and 5 times more), men also suffer from varicose veins: specifically 35% of Spanish men.

The belief that only women suffer from them is due to the fact that men tend to pay less attention to them, since they consider it something purely aesthetic, they are uninformed and they do not affect their daily lives. That is why they tend to only visit a health professional when the varicose veins are large and present symptoms (which puts them at greater risk).

Myth 4: If varicose veins don’t hurt, you don’t have to have surgery
Although sometimes varicose veins may not be a health threat, sometimes they can be dangerous or may become so with time and increased risk factors.
To find out, we must schedule an appointment with a specialist in Angiology and Vascular Surgery.

Myth 5: Pregnancy causes varicose veins
Due to the increased pressure on the pelvis and legs that occurs during pregnancy, blood flow may be affected and veins may worsen and become visible, but they usually disappear.

Only if you suffer from varicose veins prior to pregnancy are they likely to increase during it. To control them, it is advisable to wear compression stockings.
In some cases, surgery is recommended either before or after pregnancy.

Myth 6: Massages combining hot and cold water are beneficial
Heat causes dilation of the veins, so it is recommended to do massages or showers only with warm and cold water, as it constricts the most superficial veins.

For this same reason, the symptoms of varicose veins improve in winter.

Myth 7: Athletes get varicose veins in their extremities
Excessive physical exercise causes a greater volume of blood to reach the arteries to cover the oxygen needs of the muscles. Over time, this causes greater development of the veins, dilating them, and they are sometimes confused with varicose veins.

Exercising is important to improve circulation, since return circulation is activated and blood does not stagnate, thus preventing the appearance of varicose veins.

Myth 8: The only treatment is surgery
Not all varicose veins are the same and, therefore, the treatment may differ between some patients and others.
Currently there are several intervention options depending on the type and degree of varicose vein. There are minimally invasive techniques with results identical to those of surgical operations: Microfoam, Endovenous Laser and Radiofrequency.

The specialists in Angiology and Vascular Surgery at CreuBlanca will review your history and background, assess the symptoms, and perform an examination with a Doppler Ultrasound to know if intervention is necessary and with what technique. Make an appointment today.

Dr. Carlos Esteban Gracia, specialist in Angiology and Vascular Surgery at CreuBlanca, tells you in this video what varicose veins are, their causes and symptoms, and how to diagnose, treat and prevent them.


Angiology and Vascular Surgery
Varicose Veins