Our doctors often get questions whether or not home remedies truly work, or if running will cause them to get varicose veins. They’re understandable questions, especially when medical information is often passed along by friends or family via word of mouth. We’re here to debunk the most common vein myths, so you can be a more informed patient.
Myth #1: Apple cider vinegar and essential oils can cure varicose veins
On the market today, there are many home remedies promising to cure varicose and spider veins. Unfortunately, the majority of these are myths. Two of the larger myths we continue to hear is that apple cider vinegar and essential oils such as rose hip, can cure varicose veins and prevent them from developing.
Due to the fact that varicose veins are caused by venous insufficiency, also known as vein disease, these home remedies will not fix broken valves. When your vein’s valves malfunction, blood is allowed to pool within the veins causing visible, bulging veins and symptoms. The only effective way to relieve vein disease symptoms is through vein treatment. A few possible vein treatments include: Endovenous Laser Treatment, Foam Treatment, Visual Sclerotherapy, or Ultrasound-Guided Sclerotherapy.
Apple cider vinegar and essential oils may hold many healing properties for other ailments; however, they will not cure or prevent varicose veins from developing.
Myth #2: Massage can cure varicose veins
Getting a massage can help relieve leg pain and other symptoms; however, massage is not an effective cure or treatment for varicose veins. Varicose veins are caused by underlying vein disease, which is a result of faulty vein valves.
Myth #3: Spider veins and varicose veins are the same thing
Spider veins and varicose veins are not the same kind of blood vessels. Here is an easy way to differentiate between the two kinds.
Varicose veins: These larger veins appear enlarged, twisted, or bulging and are most commonly seen in the legs. They tend to be located deeper within the skin and are found between the muscles. These veins may also appear discolored and cause swelling or pain around the affected vein.
Spider veins: These are dilated capillaries located close to the skin’s surface. They appear small and thin and may look red, purple, or blue. Unlike varicose veins, spider veins are not typically raised or bulging.
Myth #4: Vein treatment is just for cosmetic purposes
Getting underlying vein disease treated is not for cosmetic purposes. Patients with vein disease often experience leg pain, cramping, difficulty walking or standing, swelling, heaviness, itching, burning, restlessness at night, skin discoloration, or non-healing wounds. These symptoms can impede on a person’s daily life and cause great discomfort for them. Vein treatment resolves the underlying, root problem that causes these painful symptoms to occur. Left untreated, vein disease symptoms may get worse over time.
After the underlying issues have been corrected, cosmetic vein treatment is used to “clean” up residual superficial veins that reside close to the skin’s surface. These veins typically do not cause discomfort like deeper veins do. It’s important to treat the root cause to avoid vein disease recurrence.
Myth #5: Varicose veins are harmless and can be ignored
Some people won’t even know they have vein disease, while others will struggle with daily, chronic pain. This discomfort can cause people to avoid exercising, which can negatively impact your overall health.
In addition, untreated vein disease can lead to serious health conditions down the road. Venous ulcers, ruptured veins, and Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), are all possible issues that can arise from ignoring vein disease.
Myth #6: If you don’t see visible veins, you don’t have vein disease
Many cases of vein disease are below the skin’s surface, so you may not see visible signs. If you are experiencing leg pain or other symptoms, but don’t see bulging, twisted veins, you can still have vein disease. It’s important to get checked by a vascular specialist, so you can address these issues before they progress.
Myth #7: Only seniors can get varicose veins
Men and women of all ages can get varicose veins. Varicose veins can become more visible as you age, but there are many factors that play a role in the development of vein disease. People as young as 20 years old can develop varicose veins.
Myth #8: Women should wait until they’re done having children to treat vein issues
Just because you aren’t done having children, doesn’t mean you should wait to get vein issues resolved. If you’re in between pregnancies and want to relieve discomfort, it’s a good idea to be proactive and get treatment.
Yes, the weight of pregnancy can cause additional spider veins to reoccur after treatment; however, treating underlying vein disease can eliminate painful symptoms and cause veins to be less prominent or frequent in the future.
Myth #9: Running can cause varicose veins
Running does not cause varicose veins or vein disease and can actually improve circulation. Running can help you maintain a healthy weight, as well as strengthen bones and muscles. If you have leg pain caused by vein disease, try low-impact exercises such as swimming or aerobics that get your blood flowing but doesn’t put too much pressure on your veins.
Myth #10: Healthy, active people don’t get vein disease
It’s true that maintaining a healthy weight, lowering your blood pressure, and exercising regularly can help decrease your risk of vein disease; however, if you have a predisposition or lifestyle factors that may influence their development, you may not be able to fully prevent them.
Vein disease can be caused by many aspects such as: hormones or pregnancy, ages, family history, and if your career requires standing or sitting for long periods of time.
Myth #11: Venous ulcers will heal on their own without vein treatment
Many people choose the “wait and see” method for venous ulcers, but this can be extremely harmful to your health. Venous ulcers cannot completely heal on their own because there is an underlying condition causing their recurrence. If you have a slow-healing or non-healing wound on your leg or ankle, see a vascular specialist immediately.
In the meantime before your appointment, remember to wash the wound regularly, keep it clean and dry, avoid lotions and body sprays, and apply antibacterial ointment. This can help prevent infection before you get the ulcer treated.
Learn more about varicose veins, vein disease, and treatment by exploring our website. If you have any questions or are interested in scheduling an initial consultation, give us a call at 888-768-3467.