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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.

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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
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
Elizabeth, NJ 07208
Elizabeth, NJ location servicing Elizabeth, Linden, Roselle Park and Hillside.