Despite being a common condition, which affect as many as a third of us, varicose veins have their fair share of myths in circulation. If you are concerned about varicose veins and unsure of what’s fact and what’s fiction, take a look at the following five varicose vein myths the Vascular Consultancy have uncovered.

1.Varicose veins are harmless and are purely a cosmetic concern
Granted, these unsightly, bulging veins can be a cosmetic concern to those who suffer from them but they can also cause discomfort and even pain. As well as throbbing, itching and aching, advanced cases of varicose veins can lead to swelling and dermatitis.

2.Men are not at risk
Women can be prone to varicose veins during pregnancy. However, men are also at risk from the condition. In fact, according to research carried out in Britain, as much as 56% of men suffer from varicose veins.

3.Exercise makes varicose veins worse
Another varicose vein myth in circulation is that exercise worsens the condition. Being overweight can increase your chances of developing varicose veins, therefore exercising, eating healthily and staying within your ideal weight range can help keep the condition at bay, and, if you do suffer from it, help prevent the swollen veins from becoming worse.

4.Varicose veins are the sign of old age
While age can increase your chances of developing varicose veins, they are not necessarily a sign of age. The principle factor that will determine whether you will develop varicose veins is hereditary, and people as young as ten can develop this condition.

5.The only treatment for varicose veins is surgery
Wrong again! While surgery is used to treat this condition, there are several other forms of treatment that can effectively improve the look and feel of the affected veins.
One such non-surgical procedure is wearing compression stockings, which help decrease the swelling and even appearance of the veins, though will not effectively ‘cure’ them.
Other treatment options include radiofrequency ablation and endovenous laser, amongst others.

If you are concerned about this common condition and would like to discuss the different treatment options, get in touch with the Vascular Consultancy.
Dr Daryll Baker of the Vascular Consultancy is a leading vascular surgeon in the UK and will be able to discuss the different treatment options with you to help you determine which treatment is likely to work best for you.


Penny Lancaster has talked candidly about living with hyperhidrosis, a chronic sweat condition. Appearing on ITV’s popular daytime television show, Loose Women, the 45-year-old model spoke of how she feels embarrassed about her tendency to sweat heavily.

In a recent episode of Loose Women, Penny said fears of her excessive sweating are so severe that she worried what her husband Rod Stewart would think when he found out about the condition.

The model explained how her hands become clammy when she is nervous or excited, stating:
“I have hyperhidrosis, you can see a little shining hand going on. A lot of the time they’re bone dry and fine but it’s something to do with the nervous system – I’m not nervous – but even when I’m excited and looking forward to something.”

It was in her teenage years when Penny was first diagnosed with hyperhidrosis. At the time, Penny said the condition was so extreme, she had to wear white cotton gloves when she took her exams in order to prevent the page she was writing on becoming damp. Over the years, the model says she has learned to live with excessive sweating.

Ms Lancaster spoke of how doctors have advised her to undergo intrusive treatment to help alleviate the condition. Specialists had suggested electrotherapy to help diminish the condition, or alternatively having an operation in which a vein under the arm is cut. Though this form of treatment could lead to sweating elsewhere.

Penny said such is her embarrassment over her excessively sweating hands that she tries to avoid shaking hands with people when she meets them and instead opts to kiss them.
Ms Lancaster continued that she would go out of her way to try and mask her condition.

“In my early modelling days, if I was doing swimwear or a bit more scantily clad, I’d ask the photographer for a wind machine and they’d say aren’t you too cold? And I’d say, ‘No, I’m hot, but it’s just the wind would dry them out.”

Hyperhydrosis is a common problem, estimated to affect 7.8 million individuals in the United States, 2.8% of the population.

Individuals suffering from the condition experience excessive sweating, typically on the palms of the hands, under the arms, on the face and on the soles of the feet. The embarrassment of the condition can lead to stress and anxiety.

One treatment for hyperhidrosis involves botulinum toxin being injected into the skin of affected areas. The botulinum toxin reduces the sweating by blocking the signals from the brain to the sweat glands.


Daryll Baker is a Consultant Vascular Surgeon at the Royal Free Hospital London and Clinical Lead for North Central Region Vascular Services.

He read Medicine at Oxford University and trained in Vascular Surgery in Nottingham, London and Edinburgh. He obtained his research PhD from the University of Wales.


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