When people think of varicose veins, they tend to think of them as a cosmetic issue seemingly reserved exclusively for older women. But the truth is that a surprising amount of men suffer from varicose veins, spider veins and other vein disorders, as well! Although a larger percentage of women suffering with varicose veins will seek medical treatment for them, men who suffer with varicose veins will experience the same symptoms, such as leg pain, swelling, heaviness fatigue, and bulging veins, and are at the same risk for developing advanced complications such as chronic venous insufficiency, stasis dermatitis and venous ulcers if left untreated.
Why Do We Think of Varicose Veins as a Women’s Medical Issue?
Due to pregnancy, hormones and genetic predispositions, women are indeed more likely to develop varicose veins than men. However, researchers estimate that up to 45 percent of men develop varicose veins at some point between the ages of 40-80. The exact percentage is difficult to calculate since many men do not seek treatment. We tend to think of varicose veins as a female issue due to the simple fact that women are more likely to seek treatment for them. Many women have witnessed the unsightly and painful symptoms that their mothers/grandmothers experienced while living with their own untreated varicose veins for years and are determined to not make the same mistake. It’s also probable that the cosmetic appearance of vein disease, such as unsightly bulging veins, leads more women to seek treatment due to the differences in clothing between men and women. Most of our male patients tend not to seek treatment until the varicose veins progress and become highly symptomatic, and they are subsequently pleasantly surprised with how less achy, heavy and tired their legs feel almost immediately after treatment. They often comment that they wish they had treated them sooner.