Varicose Vein Myths Debunked

Legs with blue varicose veins.

The internet is full of all kinds of medical opinions on just about anything you want to Google. Here at the Vein Clinic of Greater Kansas City, we’ve heard quite a few myths from our patients so we thought we’d clear up some of this misinformation. Here are a few common myths about varicose veins that just aren’t true.

Common Varicose Vein Myths

Here are some of the most common misconceptions people have about Varicose Veins:

Varicose Veins and Spider Veins Are the Same Condition

Some people have varicose veins, some have spider veins and some have both types of veins. While for some people, spider veins can be a precursor to varicose veins, they are very different conditions. Spider veins are small, red and blue webs that appear just beneath the surface of the skin. They can show up on legs, arms, chests and faces and usually only cause cosmetic problems. A varicose vein is caused when valves inside the vein weaken and can’t help move the blood back toward the heart. The vein becomes swollen, blood pools in the area, and the actual vein tissue hardens up over time. They are also very painful whereas spider veins are just an aesthetic annoyance.

Varicose Veins Are an Aesthetic Problem Only 

Many people think varicose vein removal is only for vanity purposes because they look so ugly. Besides creating a great deal of pain, varicose veins are dangerous. If left untreated, varicose veins can lead to skin redness and pain over a clotted varicose vein, called superficial thrombophlebitis. They can also bleed severely, causing skin darkening and hardening, and in severe cases cause skin breakdown called venous ulcers (open wounds that won’t heal). Varicose veins even have an increased association with DVT, or deep vein thrombosis, which can be deadly.

Exercise Is Bad for Varicose Veins

Exercise may be more challenging as activities like walking or jogging can become painful, but it is actually good for your veins – varicose and healthy. Movement keeps the muscles around your veins healthy plus keeps the blood moving so it isn’t allowed to pool in one spot. Additionally, obesity is a primary cause of varicose veins, so exercise can lead to weight loss and that can take pressure off of your veins.  

Varicose Vein Treatments Leave Scars

At Vein Clinic of Greater Kansas City, we offer a variety of varicose vein treatments that don’t leave any permanent scars. Most varicose vein treatments are minimally invasive including radio frequency ablation, sclerotherapy, laser vein ablation, and chemical ablation. You may experience temporary bruising and tiny incisions, but the tools and needles used are very small and if they leave any marks, they are usually so small they are almost invisible to the naked eye. 

We hope that clarifies some of the misinformation out there. If you have other questions about varicose vein treatments, please call us and our caring and highly trained staff will be happy to answer them. We’re here for you every step of the way, with the highest quality medical care and resources in a comfortable and friendly outpatient setting. 

Our caring and highly trained staff is committed to one objective: effective improvement of your vein health. We’re here for you every step of the way, with the highest quality medical care and resources in a comfortable and friendly outpatient setting. Schedule an appointment here or contact us at (913) 541-3377 to schedule a new patient office visit.