Clark 732.574.1399 | Elizabeth 908.512.7900 | Jersey City 201.792.4500 | Kearny 201.998.4699 |
South Plainfield 908.941.2227 | Staten Island 718.448.4488 | Teaneck 201.837.3939 | West New York 201.861.4226

Varicose Veins by the Numbers

Girl holding camera

Varicose veins are unsightly at best and can prove dangerous if gone untreated. But do you know just how prevalent the risk is? Consider these statistics:

  • More than 40 million people in the US suffer from varicose veins.
  • Nearly 50 percent of varicose vein patients have a family history of varicose veins.
  • If both of your parents have varicose veins, your chances of developing the disease are extremely high – close to 90 percent.
  • If you’re a male with one parent affected by varicose veins, you’ve got a 25-percent chance of developing them, too. If you’re a woman with one affected parent, your risk is significantly higher – some 60 percent.
  • The prevalence of varicose veins is greater in women (55 percent) than in men (45 percent).
  • An estimated 41 percent of women over the age of 50 have varicose veins.
  • An estimated 50 percent of the US population over 50 years old has them.
  • Women who are moderately overweight (with a BMI of 25-29.9) have a 50-percent greater risk of developing varicose veins than do women who are not overweight.
  • Women with a BMI greater than 30 are three times as likely to develop varicose veins as those who are not overweight.

If you’re struggling with unsightly, uncomfortable or painful varicose veins, Metropolitan Dermatology can help. We have locations in Clark, Teaneck and Kearny, New Jersey, plus Staten Island, New York. Request your appointment and download patient forms online at metropolitanderm.com.

Is Your Job to Blame for Your Varicose Veins?

Occupations that require long periods of sitting or standing - like cosmetology - can exacerbate vein problems leading to varicose veins.

Occupations that require long periods of sitting or standing – like cosmetology – can exacerbate vein problems leading to varicose veins.

You eat right and exercise before or after work each day. Still, varicose veins have begun to mark your otherwise gorgeous gams. Could your job be to blame? Yes and no, sclerotherapy specialists say.

Multiple studies have shown that people whose jobs require them to sit or stand for long hours are at a significantly higher risk for developing varicose veins and related problems than are those whose jobs call for intervals of walking. Occupations commonly associated with leg vein issues include:

  • Nursing
  • Teaching
  • Factory labor
  • Retail sales
  • Cosmetology

But it’s not the job that’s fully to blame. The truth is that vein valves can begin to fail as early as the teenage years. Weakened or failed valves don’t allow blood to be pumped back up the body toward the heart as normal. Instead, blood pools backward, filling those weakened veins causing them to bulge outward. All that sitting or standing simply exacerbates an existing problem, allowing the damage already caused by valve failure to accelerate and intensify.

If your job keeps you in one place on your feet or in a chair for extended periods of time, be sure to take advantage of breaks by taking brisk walks. When relaxing, sit or lie down with your feet raised above your heart level to take a bit of stress off your veins. Massage your calves and thighs daily and get plenty of cardiovascular exercise. If you smoke, nix the habit now. And adopt a diet that’s rich in vitamins C, E, B6 and B12, copper, fiber and bioflavonoids.

If you’re already seeing signs of spider or varicose veins developing, call your nearest Metropolitan Dermatology location in Clark, Kearny or Teaneck and schedule a consultation with a sclerotherapy specialist today.

 

Pregnant? Here’s How to Minimize Varicose Veins

Continuing to exercise can help to minimize varicose veins during your pregnancy.

Continuing to exercise can help to minimize varicose veins during your pregnancy.

First-time expectant mothers obviously expect their bodies to undergo lots of changes – weight gain, hormonal fluctuations and mood swings being chief among them. But there are a few pregnancy-related quirks that can come as a surprise. One of these is varicose veins developing in the legs – a condition that affects nearly half of all pregnant women.

Your veins work nonstop to pump blood from your extremities back up to your heart. Their job gets tougher during pregnancy for several reasons. First, the amount of blood in your body will increase upward of 45 percent during your pregnancy. To put that increase in perspective, consider that non-pregnant women typically have about 100 milliliters of blood per minute flowing through the uterine artery, while expectant women pump 120 ml per minute by the sixth week of pregnancy, hitting 350 ml per minute by the third trimester. All that extra blood places a far heavier burden on your veins.

Meanwhile, your rapidly growing uterus isn’t helping matters. As it grows, it presses your inferior vena cava (that’s the large vein on the right side of your body), placing even more pressure on your leg veins. Pregnancy also means a boost in levels of progesterone in your blood, which causes the walls of your blood vessels to relax. All of these factors combined mean that your vessels, veins and valves are working in overdrive to keep blood flowing normally. Eventually, the extra effort takes a toll. Blood that’s unable to flow quickly back up to your heart will begin to pool backward, forming varicose veins.

But there’s good news. First, most new mothers see their varicose veins improve or even disappear altogether within three to four months after giving birth. Varicose veins that persist are easily treated with sclerotherapy, a minimally invasive procedure that works via a saline solution injected into affected veins. Plus, there are multiple ways to help avoid or minimize the development of varicose veins during pregnancy.

  • Continue to exercise daily during your pregnancy, with blessing and instruction from your doctor, of course. Just a brisk walk around the block helps tremendously.
  • Don’t let the notion of “eating for two” tempt you into overeating. Take care to keep within the recommended weight range for your stage of pregnancy.
  • Elevate your feet and legs whenever possible.
  • Avoid sitting or standing for long periods and be sure to take frequent breaks if either is a must.
  • Sleep on your left side. This helps to relieve the vena cava of the extra weight of your uterus, reducing the pressure on the veins in your legs and feet.
  • Wear graduated-compression stockings to help stimulate blood flow and curb swelling.

If you’re a new mother whose varicose veins have persisted past the four-month mark, schedule an appointment with Metropolitan Dermatology to find out more about sclerotherapy.

Why Women Are More Apt to Develop Varicose Veins Than Men

While both men and women can develop varicose veins, women are at higher risk.

While both men and women can develop varicose veins, women are at higher risk.

Varicose veins are by no means a women-only issue. Statistics show that by age 60, 40 percent of men will develop the condition that many inexplicably still consider a “grandma’s disease.” Still, statistics also show that women remain at a higher risk for developing varicose veins than men. In fact, some 70 percent of women suffer these bulging, bluish and sometimes painful veins.

The reason women are more prone to spider and varicose veins may have something to do with their bodies’ production of a hormone called progesterone, according to two medical studies. Progesterone helps to regulate menstrual cycles and maintain multiple organs. It also causes blood vessel walls and the tiny valves inside those vessels to relax. As a result, the pressure exerted by blood as it continues to pulse through the body pushes outward on the sides of the blood vessels, causing them to become weak. Blood begins to pool backward rather than move forward and upward, and veins begin to bulge.

Though it naturally occurs in both sexes, progesterone levels are significantly higher in women than in men. In a 2009 study of pregnant women, progesterone levels in the blood were found to be far higher in expectant mother who had varicose veins than in women studied who did not have them. This research marked the first time that varicose veins in pregnant women were linked to a potential underlying cause other than weight gain.

A separate study examined progesterone’s effect on the great saphenous vein – that large vein that runs the length of the leg and is situated just below the surface of the skin. Researchers found that this particular vein has receptors that make it more sensitive to the effects of progesterone.

Regardless of your gender, varicose veins can be unsightly and painful. Left untreated, they can lead to other more serious problems such as including blood clots and ulcers. Fortunately, varicose veins are highly treatable via a minimally invasive and relatively painless procedure called Sclerotherapy. If your legs are marked with blue or bulging veins, call today to schedule an appointment at one of Metropolitan Dermatology’s three New Jersey locations in Clark, Kearny or Teaneck.


Cosmetic, Medical & Surgical Dermatology


Metropolitan Dermatology Locations

1075 Central Avenue
Clark, NJ 07066
732-574-1399
Clark NJ location servicing Edison, Westfield, Elizabeth, Linden, Scotch Plains, & Cranford, NJ

757 Teaneck Road
Teaneck, NJ 07666
201-837-3939
Teaneck NJ location servicing Hackensack, Fort Lee, Fair Lawn, Englewood, and Bergenfield, NJ.

703 Kearny Ave.
Kearny, NJ 07032
201-998-4699
Kearny NJ location servicing Jersey City, Nutley, North Arlington, Lyndhurst, and Hoboken, NJ. *Formerly 752 Kearny

1324 Victory Boulevard
Staten Island, NY 10301
718-448-4488
Staten Island NY location servicing all of New York City!

3202 John F Kennedy Blvd.
Jersey City, NJ 07306
201-792-4500
Jersey City, NJ location servicing Jersey City and Newark.

114 Lakeview Avenue
South Plainfield, NJ 07080
908-941-2227
South Plainfield, NJ location servicing Plainfield and Edison.

449 60th St.
West New York, NJ 07093
201-861-4226
West New York NJ location servicing Union City, Bayonne, North Bergen, Hoboken, & Secaucus NJ

469 Morris Ave. Ste 2
Elizabeth, NJ 07208
908-512-7900
Elizabeth, NJ location servicing Elizabeth, Linden, Roselle Park and Hillside.