As experienced vascular doctors in Boynton Beach, we often can’t help but notice how many of our patients try to hide their varicose veins. They wear long pants or long dresses, and avoid going to the beach or playing sports that make them reveal their legs, because they are ashamed of how their legs look.
But we’ve also noticed that many of these patients seem to be embarrassed to even talk about their varicose veins, and not just with friends and family, but even with their vascular doctors. Many people try to hide and “live with” their varicose veins for years before they even seek vein disease treatment in Boynton Beach, seeing a specialist only when their legs become so painful that they “have to” see someone about them. In this article, we thought we’d talk about this reluctance to talk about varicose veins, and bring the subject out into the open.
You’re not alone in having varicose veins, and you’re not “too young” to have them
When people first notice varicose veins on their legs, they can get the feeling that they’re unique in having swollen and discolored veins, and that few other people have them. The truth is the exact opposite – over 50% of the population has varicose veins. You just don’t hear about it because they’re as reluctant to talk about their varicose veins as you are. And while it may be true that in general varicose veins appear more often in older people, in reality 1 in 20 women under 24 have them, and they can appear in patients as young as 11 years old.
This feeling of being somehow “abnormal” for having varicose veins is even worse for men. They, after all, have heard the same misinformation that varicose veins are “primarily a women’s disease,” so they feel even worse when they start to develop them. And while it is true that for hormonal reasons women are more likely to get varicose veins than men, the reality is that 1 in 4 men have them, too.
Varicose veins are not a “cosmetic problem” – they’re a disease
Or, more precisely, they’re the visible symptoms of a vein disease which is crippling your circulatory system and impairing your overall health. You wouldn’t be embarrassed by having a disease like atherosclerosis that impaired blood flow through your arteries, would you? Why be embarrassed by having a disease like chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) that impairs blood flow through your veins, and causes them to swell and become discolored? Also, like any disease, CVI is not likely to magically “get better” if you ignore it or hide it – it’ll get worse. Left undiscussed and untreated, your varicose veins can quickly cause your legs to become so painfully swollen and covered with sores that you can barely walk.
Similarly, treating varicose veins is not “cosmetic surgery”
Removing veins that have become swollen as the result of vein disease may indeed improve your appearance. But the real reason people have varicose veins eliminated is that doing so “gives them their lives back.” Psychologically they no longer feel as if their unsightly veins are “holding them hostage” and forcing them to hide their legs, and physically they begin to feel energetic and healthy enough to be able to use their legs again – for walking, for sports, or for dancing.
So don’t be reluctant to talk about your varicose veins. If you’d like someone to talk about them with – experienced Boynton Beach vein specialists who know the truths about varicose veins and vein disease and can explain them to you – call us at 561-515-0080, and set up an appointment for an initial consultation. Bring all the pent-up questions you’ve been afraid to ask of your friends or other doctors, and ask them of us. We’ll be happy to give you honest answers, and help you treat the varicose veins themselves.