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Treating Varicose and Spider Veins In Men
Varicose veins are enlarged veins that can be blue, red, or flesh-colored. They often look like cords and appear twisted and bulging. They can be swollen and raised above the surface of the skin. Varicose veins are often found on the thighs, backs of the calves, or the inside of the leg.
Spider veins are like varicose veins but smaller. They also are closer to the surface of the skin than varicose veins.
Often, they are red or blue. They can look like tree branches or spider webs with their short, jagged lines. They can be found on the legs and face and can cover either a very small or very large area of skin.
As a man, you probably enjoy being outside, and it’s not easy to feel confident about your looks.
You can’t concentrate on your swing if you’re worried that your golfing buddies are looking at the purplish cluster on your ankle. And, if you dangle your legs at the edge of the pool, you don’t want to be mistaken for the kids’ grandfather.
Older men are now vain when it comes to their veins. According to the Chicago-based American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (AACS), sclerotherapy, a treatment for spider and varicose veins, has become the number two most performed cosmetic surgical procedure, due in large part to men.
Sclerotherapy, an in-office procedure, involves injecting spider or smaller varicose veins with a solution, causing them to collapse and fade away.
An AACS survey shows that nearly 10,000 men opted for sclerotherapy. That’s up from 3,000 in 2002, a 226% increase. By contrast, the increase in women seeking the procedure over the last five years increased just 3.5%, says the AACS. Spider veins, red and purplish clusters of fine lines, are typically a female problem, often caused by pregnancy.
But as men age, their skin gets thinner. The average age among male sclerotherapy patients is 65. It used to be that men didn’t want to think about how they looked, but now it’s different, the opposite is true, you don’t want to look old. Many sclerotherapy patients are men in their second marriage.
The spider veins that older men experience can be caused from trauma, years of standing for long periods, or even exercise such as weight lifting. Men who experience varicose veins usually have a genetic predisposition to the condition.
Many men also seek treatment for leg discomfort, swelling, and other symptoms associated with varicose veins. Endovenous ablation is a modern day minimally invasive procedure that treats the underlying cause of varicose veins and spider veins, called venous reflux disease. As long as one has venous reflux disease, they will probably continue to develop new varicose veins and spider veins.
Insurance usually covers endovenous ablation, but may or may not cover sclerotherapy treatment. Consult with an experienced vein professional to fully discuss one’s options.