Hardly anyone is spared from spider veins or varicose veins their entire life. A corresponding number of myths and misconceptions surround the causes, consequences and treatment options for vein problems. Most of these can be refuted by scientific knowledge and well-founded facts. Here we finally clear up the biggest myths!
Misconception 1: Only old people have varicose veins
The fact is: Spider veins often show up at a young age. It is true that time plays an important role in the development of varicose veins and the risk of varicose veins increases with age. Whether you tend to spider veins, however, is usually evident early on: Many 20 to 29-year-olds already have spider veins. With increasing age, more and more people are struggling with pronounced varicose veins and side effects such as water retention in the legs or skin changes.
Misconception 2: Spider veins and varicose veins do not cause any symptoms
The fact is: All vein changes can impair well-being. In the much-noticed Bonn vein study, more than half of the respondents complained about leg problems in the previous weeks. Above all, pain in the legs after standing for a long time, feelings of heaviness and tension as well as swelling and nightly calf cramps noticeably reduce the quality of life of those affected.
Misconception 3: Men don’t get varicose veins
The fact is: the “stronger sex” doesn’t take alarm signals seriously. Because of their weaker connective tissue, women struggle with varicose veins a little more often than men, but the difference is not big. However, not even half as many men as women seek treatment, since only a tiny minority of them consider varicose veins to be a serious condition. As a result, men are more likely to suffer from serious complications such as skin changes, leg ulcers, thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.
Varicose veins are a typical “saleswoman’s disease”
The fact is: If you have a tendency to venous insufficiency, standing and sitting for long periods of time promotes the vein problems – so not only saleswomen are affected. Very few people have a “moving” working day these days. Rather, a growing number of professionals spend many hours sitting down, be it at a desk or at the cash register. This affects the veins just as much as standing for a long time in sales or in the catering trade. The symptoms of varicose veins, such as swelling in the legs and a feeling of heaviness, often worsen at the end of the day.
If you have varicose veins, you should rest a lot
The fact is that the legs need exercise, especially if you have venous insufficiency. In the long term, moving as much as possible promotes vein health. Sports such as walking, cycling or swimming are particularly good for the veins, as they naturally activate the calf muscles and boost blood circulation without putting too much strain on the legs. If you walk a lot, climb stairs and take breaks for walks, you can also help your vein health in everyday life. A tip for anyone who has to sit or stand a lot at work: keep circling your feet and rocking back and forth between heel and ball of foot.