Varicose veins might be synonymous with ageing ladies but in actual fact the condition can affect anyone, at any age. These protruding veins on the surface of the skin can cause discomfort and torment amongst those who suffer from them.

If you are concerned about varicose veins, dissecting the facts about this common condition from the myths can not only help put your mind at rest but also help you efficiently control and treat the ailment.

To unravel the truth from the inaccuracies, take a look at the following five popular varicose veins myths busted.

Myth 1: Varicose veins are merely a cosmetic issue

These lumpy veins can be unsightly and many sufferers are keen to reduce the appearance of varicose veins for cosmetic reasons. However, the symptoms of the condition stretch much further than aesthetical ones.

By increasing the pressure in the veins, the ailment can cause discomfort, including swelling, leg heaviness, throbbing and pain. This in turn can lead to fatigue and a reduced quality of life.

Myth 2: Standing for long periods of time can cause varicose veins

While standing for long periods can cause the legs to ache and perhaps aggravate the discomfort caused by varicose veins, there is no evidence to suggest the act of standing can trigger the condition.

Myth 3: Varicose veins only affect women

Another common myth is that varicose veins only affects women. The truth is the condition is not gender-specific and can affect men as well as women. Women do tend to be at a higher risk than men of developing these unsightly veins, due to the fact women produce higher levels of the hormone progesterone, which is associated with the onset on varicose veins. However, men are not immune to the condition and can also suffer from the discomfort and cosmetic angst varicose veins can create.

Myth 4: There is little point treating varicose veins as they will always return

Another inaccurate myth involving varicose veins is likely to have stemmed from less effective methods of treatment in the past, which wouldn’t fully eliminate the problem.

Today, treatments such as sclerotherapy and endothermal ablation, remove the affected veins. If the protruded veins did reoccur, it would typically be due to another malfunctioning vein.

Myth 5: Veins shouldn’t be treated unless they are causing discomfort

These unsightly veins can lead to sufferers being anxious about their appearance and damaging self-esteem. Not all problem veins do cause pain or discomfort but if they are causing cosmetic concern, the sufferer should not be worried about seeking advice about having the veins treated.

Less invasive treatments are available for varicose veins that don’t require hospital admission, such as wearing compression stockings.

If you are concerned about varicose veins and would like to discuss different types of treatment, get in touch with the Vascular Consultancy and Daryll Baker, a Consultant Vascular Surgeon at the Royal Free Hospital London and Clinical Lead for North Centr


A good circulation of the blood is key to maintaining a healthy body. As the blood circulated, it delivers oxygen and essential nutrients to the different organs and the cells of the body. Without the circulation of the blood, the body cannot function.

It is therefore vital that we maintain good blood circulation and continue to strive to improve the circulatory system.

As well as exercising and eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, drinking plenty of water is an effective strategy for improving blood circulation.

Water plays a vital role in facilitating the flow of blood around the body. Studies implicated with blood circulation have shown that a poor circulation of blood can be caused by a number of factors, including a low consumption of fluids.

Though certain fluids, namely caffeine and alcohol, can cause dehydration within the body. Dehydration has a negative effect on the organs and the cardiovascular system. As dehydration decreases the blood volume in the body, it responds by retaining higher levels of sodium. High concentrations of sodium in the blood is linked to causing high blood pressure, which can, in turn, lead to the body closing its small blood vessels, known as capillaries.

Water is the best liquid to keep the body well hydrated and healthy, contributing to the well-being of the blood vessels.

How much water should we drink?

Whilst there is no single formula regarding how much water we should drink, and it greatly depends on the individual and their requirements, studies do offer some fairly definitive figures.

Experts repeatedly advice that in order to stay sufficiently hydrated, we should aim at drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.

Conditions caused by poor blood circulation

When the blood is not circulating properly through the body, health issues can rear their head, including:

  • Varicose veins
  • Memory loss
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Headaches and dizzy spells
  • Vision loss
  • Restricted blood flow to the brain

As well as drinking plenty of water and eating a well-balanced, healthy diet, doing regular physical exercise is an essential way to maintain healthy blood circulation.

It is generally advised that in order for the arteries to have adequate peripheral circulation, we are active for at least


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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