Men and Varicose Veins
Approximately 33 million adults in the U.S. suffer with varicose veins every year, according to numbers from the American Heart Association. That number may not be all too surprising for those of us who know at least a handful of people with those bulging, swollen veins, or maybe even suffer with them ourselves. What might be surprising, however, is the number of varicose vein sufferers that are actually men. In fact, as many as one-third or 11 million of those with varicose veins are men and many of those sufferers will be less likely to seek treatment for their condition.
Why Varicose Veins Occur
The body’s venous system is responsible for carrying blood from various locations in the body, back to the heart. Over time, the walls of some of these vessels can begin to wear out, allowing blood to pool inside the veins. This can lead to vein swelling and the appearance of varicose veins. Varicose veins look similar in men and women, developing as protruding, flesh colored ropes that frequently occur on the lower legs.
Risk Factors for Men
While it is impossible to predict exactly who will develop varicose veins, there are certain factors that can increase your odds. In men, some of those factors are the same ones that plague women:
• Family history of varicose veins
• Occupations that involve long periods of standing
• Being overweight
• A sedentary lifestyle
Untreated Veins Pose Risks
Men are much less likely to seek treatment for their varicose veins, a fact that has become even more problematic for this section of the population. When varicose veins are left untreated, that can lead to potentially serious complications. Some of those complications include:
• Pain or heaviness in the legs
• Swelling legs and feet
• Thickening or discoloration of the skin
• Development of open sores
Not everyone will develop these symptoms, even if they have varicose veins. However, when varicose veins remain unchecked for a period of time, the risk of symptoms and complications can sometimes increase. Because men are less likely to seek medical treatment than women as a general rule, men often don’t see their physician until complications like skin changes and venous sores have occurred. At that point, treatment can become more complex and complications can take some time to resolve.
The good news is there are many effective treatment options for varicose veins today for both men and women. At PCI Vein Center, we offer a variety of minimally-invasive treatments that effectively eliminate bulging veins without discomfort or downtime. To learn more about our services, contact PCI Vein Center at 319-774-8432.