Common Myths About Varicose Veins

Varicose and spider veins are extremely common, affecting more than a quarter of the population. Unfortunately, however, most people are not properly educated about the causes, treatments and potential dangers of chronic venous disease. Here are seven of the most common misconceptions about varicose veins.

1. Varicose veins are only cosmetic.

This is probably the most widespread misconception about varicose veins. But this is certainly not true. Varicose veins are a result of venous insufficiency. And along with the bulging veins, you may also feel fatigue and your legs may be achy, swollen, itchy or restless. If left untreated, the condition may worsen and further threaten your health.

2. Varicose veins are not really dangerous to your health.

Again, this is simply not true. Leaving any medical condition untreated is dangerous. If varicose veins are not properly taken care of, they maybe rupture and bleed, you may develop phlebitis, or they may contribute to Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) which is a very serious condition. You should respect and take care of your vein health like you do any other part of your body.

3. Varicose veins only occur in women.

While it is true that varicose veins occur more frequently in women, it is certainly not restricted to women. In fact, nearly 25% of all people suffering from varicose veins are men.

4. Varicose veins only occur in the legs.

This is not true. Varicose or spider veins can actually occur in the hands, arms, chest or face. But our treatment options are able to eliminate varicose or spider veins wherever they might appear.

5. Treatment for varicose veins is painful. Especially stripping procedures.

Advances in technology has made it so this statement is not true at all. Stripping is an invasive, out-dated form of treatment that we do not use. In some cases, we use a laser treatment that has a patented cryogen cooling system that anesthetizes the skin before, during, and after treatment. In other cases, we use Ultrasound-foam sclerotherapy, which is over 98% effective. It is also virtually painless and carries little to no side effects, In fact, our treatment is an outpatient procedure, and afterwards, you can immediately drive yourself home and return to your daily activities.

6. I will have to wear compression socks for the rest of my life.

While compression socks are a great part of preventative care when it comes to varicose veins, after seeking professional treatment to eliminate varicose veins, compression socks should not longer be needed.

7. Treatment won’t be covered by my insurance.

While most people assume this, it is many times not the case. This assumption is usually tied to the misconception that varicose veins are merely cosmetic. But if you are unsure about your coverage, check with your insurance company. You might be surprised by what is covered when it comes to your vein health.

At the San Diego Vein Institute, we take pride in making sure each patient is treated with the care and attention they deserve. That is why every aspect of treatment at SDVI is always performed by a trained doctor, specializing in venous disease. If you want to discuss vein treatment further or want to make an appointment, please contact us at 760-944-9263 or visit us at