Your self-confidence can plummet once you start to develop varicose veins, however, there are plenty of options open to you to treat the condition and get your self-esteem back. It’s important to remember that around 25% of all adults suffer from varicose veins so you are not alone.
Varicose veins occur when blood pools in the veins which then become swollen and enlarged. These veins often protrude from the skin, taking on a purple or red color and can be painful as well as unsightly. The condition tends to be more common in women, partly due to the hormones secreted during menopause or menstruation and the additional strain placed on the veins and valves during pregnancy.
However, obesity, age and genetics can all make an individual more prone to developing varicose veins. The overworking of the valves as a result of growing older or if you are overweight can increase the risk of varicose veins as blood is increasingly likely to collect in the veins.
Varicose veins can also be caused by other conditions including a previous blood clot, swelling or development of a tumor in the pelvis or abnormalities in your blood vessels, although this is rare.
However, for many, it is the emotional and psychological toll of the unsightly varicose veins that is more of an issue. It is often the case that individuals with the condition also suffer from a significant drop in self-confidence which can have a crippling effect on their personal and professional lives. For many, suffering from varicose veins means enduring discomfort, embarrassment and even humiliation on a daily basis.
Even priceless family moments such as summer holidays can be tainted as a result of suffering from varicose veins. Many may feel too self-conscious about the appearance of these veins to enjoy even simple activities such as a family visit to the beach.
In many cases, varicose veins can also lead to mental health and confidence issues that can impact friends and family and in the worst cases, even marriages. The emotional impact of cripplingly low self-esteem as a result of suffering from varicose veins can cause anxiety, stress, and depression further down the line.
Of course, there are also physical risks of not adequately treating the condition. Although major physical side effects may not appear for several years, complications can result from the incorrect blood flow associated with varicose veins.
Blood clots, leading to serious conditions such as deep vein thrombosis which result in severe pain and swelling in the legs, can result from leaving varicose veins untreated. Pulmonary embolisms, a blocked blood vessel in the lungs which can be life-threatening, can also develop. Complications with blood flow can also eventually lead to skin conditions including eczema or venous leg ulcers.
The good news for those suffering from varicose veins is that there are numerous treatments available. Simple steps can manage the condition, such as wearing compression stockings, although your blood circulation will need to be checked first, regular exercise and avoiding standing for extended periods of time. However, to properly treat the condition you will need to consult a specialist.
Sufferers have several options available to them to treat varicose veins. Heat-based techniques including Endovenous Laser ablation and Radiofrequency ablation are well-established and the most commonly used surgeries in the UK and USA. Heat energy is used to seal the veins, redirecting blood flow via the healthy veins. Both techniques have very high success rates with a much lower risk of major complications and other side effects when compared to other surgeries, explains an expert vein surgeon from Radiance Vein Clinic.
Other popular treatments include Clarivein, a painless process best suited to smaller veins, and foam sclerotherapy where a chemical is injected to block the leaky veins. These techniques can be less successful with larger veins and repeat treatments may be needed. Also, there is a higher risk of these varicose veins reappearing within a couple of years. The NHS usually uses the traditional high tie and strip surgical procedure which requires the patient to go under the general anesthetic but also has a higher reoccurrence rate as well as the risk of even developing deep vein thrombosis or nerve damage as a result.
Developing varicose veins can lead to self-esteem issues in even the most confident of individuals and can have a devastating effect on relationships. Fortunately, the wide range of treatments that are available means that lives can be transformed.