When the words spider and varicose veins come to mind, many people picture older women with enlarged, twisted veins wearing compression socks. According to the American Society for Vascular Surgery, approximately 40 million have varicose veins, and while they affect more women than men, they are still an issue for men. As many as 45% of men will experience spider or varicose veins during their lifetime.
Despite common belief, spider and varicose veins are not solely a cosmetic issue, nor are they the same condition. For some patients, spider and varicose veins can cause severe pain and discomfort, while others may experience no such pain. Regardless, these vein complications are not independent diseases but symptoms of an actual disease. Varicose veins are a symptom of a disease called venous insufficiency, which is a condition that arises when the veins can’t adequately circulate blood. Spider veins, on the other hand, are a symptom of a disease called venous hypertension, which means there is high blood pressure inside the veins.
Varicose and spider veins also differ in appearance. Varicose veins are enlarged, gnarled veins, which are dark blue and purple in color and appear on the legs and feet. Spider veins are smaller than varicose veins and are red, blue or purple in color. They are typically found on the hands, arms and/or face. The symptoms for these conditions are quite similar. You may experience fatigue, cramping, swelling, or heaviness and tiredness of the legs. Not treating spider or varicose veins can lead to more severe problems, such as bleeding, skin ulcers or even blood clots.
Causes of Varicose and Spider Veins
One of the most common causes of spider and varicose veins is heredity. If a parent has either condition, you have an estimated 50% chance of developing it yourself, and it is most likely to appear as you get older. Other risk factors include obesity, excessive sun exposure, and lack of movement.
Many men, as well as women, have occupations that require them to sit or stand for a very long duration of time. When you’re not in motion, your blood naturally collects in your legs, and sitting or standing for long periods without a break intensifies the problem and can lead to spider and varicose veins. Whether your job requires frequent sitting or standing, be sure to take regular breaks and move your legs. You can do this by getting up to stretch or take a walk, or by swaying from side to side if you’re standing.
Another risk factor men should be aware of is weight lifting. Many men participate in weight lifting, and while it can increase your muscle mass and tone, it can also strain blood circulation in your veins if done improperly. In order for blood to flow from the legs to the heart, it must move through the vena cava in the abdomen. If you are exerting your body too much by weight lifting, you may be increasing pressure in your abdominal, which obstructs blood trying to travel back to the heart. This can result in blood pooling in the veins in your legs. The increased venous pressure then causes the blood to flow back to the veins in the legs, resulting in varicose veins.
If you lift weights, be sure to follow proper weight lifting techniques. It’s best to do higher reps with lower weights and to stretch your muscles before lifting. After you’ve finished lifting, be sure to stretch and do a light cardio exercise, such as walking on the treadmill or riding an exercise bike.
If you already suffer from spider or varicose veins, don’t fret; there are many minimally invasive produces designed to treat and remove diseased veins. Some of the most common procedures are Sclerotherapy, Endovenous Laser Therapy and Radiofrequency Ablation. These procedures use ultrasound guidance and/or laser or radiofrequency energy to seal and eliminate unhealthy veins. Varicose and spider vein removal in NYC is necessary for preventing further complications and ensures varicose or spider veins won’t resurface. Because they are minimally invasive and require no large surgical incision, patients can resume their regular activities following these procedures.
While it’s not uncommon for men to suffer from varicose and spider veins, many brush off the problem and avoid seeking treatment, which can result in greater problems down the road. Rather, contact our varicose and spider vein removal clinic in NYC. Our specialized vein doctor will examine your condition and determine the most suitable treatment option. Call today to set up your free consultation: (212) 575-8346.