At what age do you get varicose veins?

Venous disease affects over 80 million Americans, and contrary to popular belief, not all of those sufferers are over the age of 50. Many people with varicose and spider veins are in their 20s, and they can be as painful and threatening) in younger people as it is in the older population.

The Difference Between Varicose Veins and Spider Veins

The valves in your veins keep blood flowing in the right direction. However, when they become faulty, blood is allowed to flow the wrong way, and it starts to pool in the vein. This causes the vein to become bumpy, twisted and purplish in color, an occurrence that is commonly found in the leg. As blood continues to pool, the vein begins to bulge and can become painful.

Spider veins, known to the medical community as telangiectasias, are very small blood vessels that cluster together just under the surface of the skin, giving them a similar appearance to spider webs. They are usually found in the legs and face and can be red, purple or blue. Although they can cause a dull aching pain after long periods of standing, spider veins are not usually painful, but they can be embarrassing.

At What Age Do You Get Varicose Veins?

Your risk of getting varicose veins increases after you turn 50, but anyone of any age can get them. Unfortunately, varicose veins at a young age are more common than you might think. Because varicose veins can be inherited, even someone in their teen years can experience them.

Women are more commonly affected than men, and if you have a job that keeps you on your feet for long hours or requires you to sit for most of the day, you are more likely to develop either varicose or spider veins (or both.) People who are obese, pregnant, or who take birth control pills or other hormones are at higher risk of developing varicose veins as well. But treatment is available for these problematic veins that cannot only be embarrassing, but painful.

Varicose Vein Treatment

Thankfully, there are a variety of treatments available for both spider veins and varicose veins. The most common treatments include:

  • Endovenous Laser Ablation Treatment or ELT
  • Sclerotherapy

ELT uses a small optical fiber inserted into the vein to deliver a laser beam directly into the vein wall, which heats up the vein and collapses it. The optical fiber is guided via ultrasound technology, making the treatment precise and efficient.

Sclerotherapy uses a solution called a sclerosant that causes the vein to thicken and close off blood flow. It works very well for smaller vessels, like spider veins and is minimally invasive. Sclerotherapy also takes advantage of ultrasound technology to guide the process, making it a safe and effective procedure.

If you are suffering from varicose or spider veins, contact Dr. Sheen.  Call the Sheen Vein Institute, your trusted vein doctor in St. Louis, MO to schedule your appointment today.

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