Varicose veins are swollen and twisted blood vessels that cause discomfort and pain. They can be found anywhere on the body but most commonly appear on the legs, calves, and feet. According to estimates, 23% of the U.S. adult population suffers from varicose veins.
Whereas the condition is twice as likely to affect women than men, it can also strike men at any age, especially those within the 40-80 bracket. But the good news is that varicose veins in men are 100% manageable with a few simple lifestyle changes. This article will discuss what causes them and the best treatment options for relieving symptoms.
The primary reason varicose veins occur in, especially older men, is that their leg muscles have become weak and flabby over time. This makes it difficult for the veins to contract properly and push blood back up towards the heart. When this happens, the blood pools in these veins and becomes engorged, causing them to swell and bulge outwards.
Other factors that contribute to male varicose veins include:
- Obesity – Excess weight around the waistline puts pressure on the lower extremities, which may lead to varicose veins.
- Hormonal Changes – As you get older, testosterone levels drop, leaving you more prone to varicose veins because your circulation system will not function as well as it used to.
- Genetics – If one or both parents had varicose veins, there is an increased chance of developing them yourself.
- Poor Circulation – A lack of proper circulation throughout the body can lead to varicose vein development.
- Injury – An injury to the leg such as a cut, bruise, or strain can result in swelling and bruising of the skin. These injuries can also leave scars that make the veins visible.
- Illness – Some illnesses, including diabetes, cancer, and liver disease, can weaken the circulatory system and increase the risk of varicose veins.
- Smoking – Cigarette smoking may also cause varicose veins in men. The nicotine increases blood flow through the veins and reduces the ability of the veins to contract.
If you suspect your varicose veins result from any of the above reasons, consult your doctor immediately. A qualified physician will recommend befitting treatments based on your medical history and physical examination.
As we mentioned earlier, varicose veins are 100% manageable, and you can easily overcome the problem if you follow some actionable tips. Here are some of the top ways to reduce the appearance of varicose veins in your legs:
Sometimes, all it takes to overcome varicose veins is a simple lifestyle change. Here are a few healthy habits that have proven to be effective over the years:
- Exercise regularly – Regular exercise helps keep your muscles toned and firm, preventing varicose veins from forming.
- Maintain a healthy diet – Eating foods rich in antioxidants like fruits and vegetables help protect against free radicals, which are known to cause damage to the cells lining the veins.
- Reduce stress – Stressful situations can trigger varicose veins by increasing blood pressure and weakening the veins. Try to relax whenever possible.
- Drink enough water – Water keeps your body hydrated, which helps prevent varicose veins. It also helps flush toxins from your body.
Compression stockings are available at pharmacies and drug stores, and they work wonders when it comes to reducing the appearance of varicose veins. They are designed to fit snugly around the calf area, helping to decrease the amount of blood flowing through the veins.
Compression stockings should be worn during the day and removed when you retire to bed. You can find compression stockings online or at local pharmacies.
If you’re suffering from severe symptoms or complications related to varicose veins, seek professional treatment. Your health care provider will perform an exam and determine the most appropriate treatment for your specific case. Here are a few recommended treatment options:
- Sclerotherapy – This procedure involves injecting a solution into the vein, causing it to close up. Sclerotherapy is often used to treat larger veins that are difficult to reach with other methods.
- Vein stripping – During this procedure, the doctor removes excess tissue from the affected areas using either heat or mechanical means.
- Laser surgery – In laser surgery, the doctor uses light energy to destroy the damaged vein walls. Laser surgery is considered the safest option for treating varicose veins.
East Bay Vein Specialists provides comprehensive vein treatment services to men who suffer from varicose veins. We offer minimally invasive procedures such as sclerotherapy and laser therapy, as well as more traditional vein removal surgeries. Our San Francisco Bay Area doctors use state-of-the-art technology to provide our patients with safe and effective treatments. If you’re looking for relief from painful varicose veins, please contact us today to schedule a consultation.