U.S. Olympian's Fight Against Varicose Veins

For most, varicose veins-enlarged blue, red or flesh-colored veins that twist and bulge beneath the surface of the skin-are a real cosmetic concern. However, of the 30 million American men and women that suffer from this hereditary condition, less than 10 percent actually seek treatment according to the Society for Vascular Surgery and the American Venous Forum.

U.S. Olympic gold medalist, Summer Sanders, who spoke with NewBeauty, is one of the 10 percent that did. For her, the varicose veins she developed during pregnancy were not only unsightly, but also painful. "You want to live the best life you possibly can. If you are having any discomfort, as I had-aching, annoying pain by the end of the day-you can get treatment and you can feel better."

For Sanders, who opted to treat her varicose veins through radiofrequency ablation, a minimally invasive treatment called Venefit, the choice was easy. Not only did she want to improve the appearance of her legs, but treat the condition she developed as a result of her varicose veins. Chronic venous insufficiency or CVI (a progressive disease which can result in increasingly serious signs and symptoms if not treated, including leg fatigue or pain, skin color and texture changes, and venous ulcers) occurs when the valves in the leg veins no longer function properly, causing blood to pool in the legs. It's a serious problem that develops from what starts as just a cosmetic annoyance.

So who should be most concerned about varicose veins? Mark Alderman, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery at New York University Medical Center and Chief of the Division of Vascular Surgery says "typically, women who have spent the last years with careers, families-those who have not really taken time for themselves-women aged 35 to 55 who are on their feet all the time like nurses, doctors, firefighters, police officers, teachers who have a hereditary predisposition." Also, women carrying excessive weight that don't exercise, as well as pregnant women.

There are several treatments available for varicose veins and there is treatment for every stage of the condition. To find your best option, take a self-assessment and to learn more about Sander's journey and recovery, check out Rethink Varicose Veins.

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