To help you separate fact from fiction, UCI Plastic Surgery would like to explain some of the more frequently misbelieved myths about spider and varicose veins.
Myth: Varicose Veins and Spider Veins are the Same
Varicose veins are large, raised swollen blood vessels that develop primarily in the legs. They can be seen as well as felt through the skin. Spider veins are generally smaller and form underneath the skin. Red, purple, or blue in appearance, spider veins are most visible on the face and legs and are flat to the touch.
Myth: Veins Are Purely Cosmetic
One of the top misconceptions about spider and varicose veins is that they are purely cosmetic. While veins are not usually considered a critical health problem, their appearance should not be ignored. Veins can cause swelling, discomfort, and even pain. Veins can also be a precursor to long-term health risks including blood clots, deep vein thrombosis, and poor circulation.
Myth: Veins Have No Implications on a Normal Lifestyle
Along with the idea that veins are a cosmetic inconvenience, many believe that veins do not affect one’s ability to live a normal and active lifestyle. Both spider veins and varicose veins can limit mobility. Varicose veins in particular can make legs feel heavy and sore, especially during physical activity. Fortunately, minimally invasive treatments can have you back to a more active lifestyle within a matter of days.
Myth: You Are Causing Veins When You Cross Your Legs
This is simply an old wives’ tale. As is the idea that wearing high heels will increase your likelihood of developing varicose or spider veins. The pooling of blood that causes veins is more likely caused by prolonged standing or sitting along with obesity, smoking, lack of exercise, and hormonal birth control.
Myth: Only Women Have Problems Veins
Men and women of all ages can develop spider and varicose veins. Similarly, both sexes are genetically inclined to veins and are equally as likely to pass their struggles on to their children. With this in mind, women are more likely to experience difficulties with veins and are especially prone to to spider and varicose during pregnancy, as the body undergoes a number of physical and hormonal changes that can lead to spider veins.
Effective Treatment Options for Spider and Varicose Veins at UCI Plastic Surgery
Myth or no myth, spider and varicose veins are a problem for many of our patients here in Southern California. Fortunately, laser energy and an injectable treatment called sclerotherapy are viable treatments and can help reduce the appearance and symptoms associated with veins.
You can learn more about spider and varicose vein treatment, including what treatment is best for you, by scheduling a consultation at one of our conveniently located practices in Orange, Costa Mesa, and Tustin.