Do Men Get Varicose Veins? Surely more women than men suffer with varicose veins? Do you ever see men with varicose veins?
These are some of the questions I get asked regularly in my clinics at The VeinCare Centre.
Many people believe that women get varicose veins more frequently than men. They also believe that pregnancy, being overweight and that poor life-style choices (lack of exercise, junk food, or prolonged standing) cause varicose veins.
Well, meet Stewart Palmer who is a double “Iron Man”.
He developed varicose veins when he was only 20 years old and despite regular running, swimming and cycling, his veins got worse.
They ached after exercise and he did not like the appearance of his legs particularly in cycle shorts. It’s a few years now since I treated his veins under local anaesthetic as a walk in walk out procedure, but he is still very pleased with the results.
Obviously, Stewart does all the “right things”. He eats well, he keeps his weight down and he exercises! And of course, in his case, pregnancy is not a factor.
As he proves, even super-fit, healthy men can develop varicose veins at an early age.
So men CAN develop varicose veins, but is it true that “women are MORE often troubled by varicose veins than men”?
Many people – even doctors- believe that many more women than men have varicose veins and that they are caused by having children. In fact, there is very little evidence to support this and one of the best scientific studies – The Edinburgh Vein Study – provides evidence for the exact opposite: that more men than women have varicose veins.
Certainly, as Stewart has noticed, women tend to seek varicose veins treatment at an earlier stage than men. Men with varicose veins tend to view them as only cosmetic.
However, varicose veins in men are not just a cosmetic issue, as, they can cause ache, discomfort, swelling and complications such as varicose eczema, phlebitis, bleeding, DVT ( deep vein thrombosis ) and leg ulcers. This applies to everyone.
Varicose veins are never just a cosmetic issue; they are caused by an underlying problem with the vein valves that can only be diagnosed properly with an ultrasound scan.
Early treatment of varicose veins is recommended to relieve symptoms and prevent complications.
Modern treatments avoid painful surgical stripping, avoid general anesthetic and avoid admission to hospital. In most cases, the treatments can be done under local anaesthetic in just a few hours. Stewart was so delighted with the results of his treatment and that he gave me his permission to share his experience and the before and after photographs.
If you would like more information about varicose veins or indeed any other vein problem, please get in contact and one of our advisors will be happy to help you.