It is an aged-old myth that crossing our legs will give us varicose veins. It continues to be a myth told by mothers and grandmothers everywhere, especially to young ladies. The truth is crossing our legs does not give us varicose veins, whether we are male or female.
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins and spider veins are a vascular problem, an internal genetic issue with the veins themselves. While spider veins are small, twisted, colored veins, varicose veins are enlarged, twisted blood vessels. Both are easily seen through the skin and for most, cause only cosmetic issues. Any vein can become varicosed, but the most commonly affected veins are those in our legs.
Nearly half the American population, both men and women over the age of 50, are diagnosed with having some form of spider and / or varicose veins.
What are the main causes of varicose veins?
The cause of varicose veins is mostly genetic. Physical habits such as crossing your legs or even standing for long periods of time do not cause varicose veins. They may exacerbate an already existing problem, but they do not cause the vein problem.
The main cause of spider and varicose veins is believed to be weak valves and / or vein walls, which causes blood to pool. Other believed causes of varicose veins include age, gender, obesity, inactivity and pregnancy.
How to prevent varicose veins
There are some simple at-home ways you can help prevent varicose veins. Exercise, watching your weight and eating a high-fiber, low salt diet are all recommended. Preventative help by not wearing high heels and tight hosiery may also prove useful as could leg elevation and shifting your position if you’re standing for long periods of time.
If your varicose veins become painful, they can be treated. A visit to your doctor could result in something simple such as the administration of compression stockings or something more complicated, such as surgery.
For a majority of people, varicose veins do not pose any health risks, however in rare cases, there can be complications that include ulcers, blood clots and bleeding.