spider veins: a mans problem too

Spider Veins: a Man's Problem, Too

Ask a woman about "spider" veins, and she may point to an unsightly mark on her leg. Ask the same to a man, and he'll probably whip out a can of insect repellent.

Men need to know more about spider or varicose veins - enlarged, twisted blood vessels near the skin surface - before it's too late.

By the time men reach their 70s, more than 40 percent are affected by varicose veins. However, only 10 to 20 percent ever visit a physician regarding the issue. Men usually see a doctor only after they've had a vascular complication, such as an ulcer or discoloration of the leg.

You should seek medical help if you experience the following symptoms in your legs:

  • Swollen, enlarged and twisted veins
  • Aching or burning sensation
  • Night cramps
  • Swollen ankles 
  • Pain after sitting or standing for extended time 

What should men do to prevent varicose veins?

Varicose veins tend to be genetic, but there are measures you can take to prevent or stop the condition from worsening. Laser treatments, invasive and non-invasive therapies, exercise and proper nutrition have proven to be effective.

Compression stockings also are recommended to prevent varicose veins. These stockings resemble knee-high socks, but are used to squeeze bulging veins and stop the upward flow of blood.

It's important to be properly measured and fitted for compression stockings. They can cost $25 to $30 per pair but are sometimes covered by insurance. If you wear them regularly, you'll need a new pair every six months. Importantly, you shouldn't wear them at night when the pressure in your legs is nearly zero. 


Updated January 30, 2017