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7 Common Misconceptions About Varicose Veins

Misconception #1. They’re only a cosmetic issue.

Yes, bulgy varicose veins are undoubtedly ugly and embarrassing. However, most people don’t know that varicose veins are also the source of many deeper issues. One of the most common misconceptions about varicose veins starts with it’s symptoms. Ironically, there’s a good chance that vein disease is likely the culprit if you have one or more of the following:

  • achy or heavy legs
  • burning
  • throbbing
  • muscle cramping
  • lower leg swelling
  • pain that worsens after you’re on your feet for a long time
  • itching
  • or skin discoloration

Conversely, not all varicose veins are seen outside the skin. If you are experiencing these symptoms but do not have any obvious bulges on your legs, you should get evaluated to see if it’s possible that some hidden varicose veins are the culprit.

Misconception #2: Varicose veins and spider veins are the same.

While spider veins and varicose veins are both hereditary, they are very much not the same. According to Medical News Today, spider veins are small, damaged veins that appear on the surface of the legs. Spider veins are not harmful or painful and often appear as thin blue, purple or red lines or branches. Spider veins are almost exclusively cosmetic but can easily be treated with injections or lasers. Luckily, spider vein treatment is one of the many specialties of our sister clinic, Renew Aesthetics. Varicose veins, on the other hand, are twisted and enlarged veins that appear dark purple or blue. Varicose veins are caused by venous insufficiency or dysfunctional valves in your veins. These dysfunctional valves cause the blood in your legs to pool because the veins are unable to pump blood back to the heart. Varicose veins are usually painful and bothersome. There are a variety of different ways to treat varicose veins but all of them are out-patient, non-invasive and relatively simple. In order to evaluate for venous insufficiency, our staff will perform an ultrasound and one of our vein professionals will determine a treatment plan that best fits your specific case.

Misconception #3: Insurance won’t cover my treatment.

Most insurance companies cover both the evaluation of and the treatment of varicose veins. Depending on the severity of your case and how close you are to your deductible, insurance may cover all of the costs. Before your first appointment, our insurance specialists will get in touch with your insurance company to determine if there is going to be an out of pocket charge. If there is going to be a charge, our staff will alert you several days before your appointment.

Misconception #4: Treatment is a big ordeal.

All of the varicose vein treatment options offered at our clinic are out-patient. Our most common procedures only take about 15 minutes. These procedures are incredibly easy and require very little to no downtime. There isn’t even any need for pain medication; the only pain management we use is a local anesthetic! The majority of patients are off the table and back to their regular activities right away.

Misconception #5: Only women get varicose veins.

This is definitely not true! Though varicose veins are often worsened during or after pregnancy, many men also have them. According to The Chicago Vein Institute, 55% of people with varicose veins are women and 45% are men. Varicose veins are strongly hereditary, so if your parents have them, there’s a good chance you or your kids may get them. Lastly, weight gain also worsens varicose veins, so anyone that is overweight is more prone to developing them.

Misconception #6: There’s no harm in leaving them alone.

Unfortunately, they aren’t just ugly to look at, they’re also damaging to your body. It’s also one of the more dangerous misconceptions about varicose veins. Varicose veins left untreated can bleed and clot or progress to skin damage and ulceration.

Misconception #7: Varicose veins are not painful.

This is just simply not the case. Aside from the typical symptoms, there are also atypical presentations of varicose vein pain. We have had many patients who thought that their knee pains were simply due to age related arthritis, but their pains vanished after varicose vein treatment. If you have unexplained leg pain, varicose veins may be just the explanation you have been looking for.


If you would like to schedule a free consultation or an evaluation of your legs at Ozark Regional Vein & Artery Center, call us at 479-777-8014. There is no need to suffer any longer, get your legs back!


Mayo Clinic
The Chicago Vein Institute
Medical News Today


– Kate Cullum

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